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Ephemeral venues: Architectural illustrations and depictions of the masses in Perón’s ‘New Argentina’

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During the Peronist years (1943‐55), architect Jorge Sabaté designed several exhibitions and ephemeral installations to be erected in the central streets of Buenos Aires. These interventions were aimed at transforming the face of the city, repurposing its spaces for unprecedented uses and expressing the right ‘the people’ had gained to free time, outings and leisure. In this article, I examine the architectural illustrations that Sabaté appended to the rest of his plans. The incorporation into his drawings of the social practices of metropolitan strolling is one of the ways in which the Peronist exhibitions designed by Sabaté relate to urban culture. By staging the masses in these materials, Sabaté proposes a whole new form of conviviality in public space and depicts the popular sectors aspiring to a new lifestyle made possible by the intersection of technological progress and expanded access to consumer goods.
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Keywords: Buenos Aires; Peronism; ephemeral architecture; populism; technical drawings; urban culture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000121741885College of the Holy Cross

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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