Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gardelito, The Tango Performer Of San Telmo

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved (Click To Enlarge)
After the phenomenally successful Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Buenos Aires ended, and the raucous party(ies) waned in the wee hours of the night (or more accurately with the first rays of the sun), some sleep-deprived souls joined the Sunday throngs in San Telmo.

San Telmo is the oldest neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It is a well-preserved area and is characterized by its cafes, tango parlors, antique shops on cobblestone streets, which are often filled with artists and dancers.

Mervyn Leong, Syed Azahedi, Mariana Castro and myself met in the San Telmo main square where we ambled for a few hours, photographing the stalls, the vendors, the customers and the flaneurs. To the side of the square, we stumbled on a solo tango performer who called himself Gardelito, presumably after Carlos Gardel who was a singer, songwriter and actor, and is the most prominent figure in the history of tango. For one of his songs, click here.

Gardelito is an old hand working the crowds, sings and plays the guitar quite well and knows how to market himself. He displayed his washed out photographs on a wall behind him, and claimed he was interviewed by all the world's major newspapers.

As a footnote, there's little doubt in my mind that the Buenos Aires Foundry Photojournalism Workshop was the best one organized so far since it was started by Eric Beecroft in 2008. I will post more on this in a few days.

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