L'anthologie of Global Inestabilidad Transpuesta - Living in Inestabilidad - Argentina (Part 46)

Transposing emblem by Silvana Renée Borghi

The economy in Argentina is something critical. When a topic such as instability is considered, the first thing that comes to mind is the economy. In Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires and the big cities all over the country, everyone’s life revolves around consumer prices, the value of the US dollar, monetary policy, inflation rates, unemployment, energy costs, taxes, the International Monetary Fund, salaries. Our history indicates that the dollar value is the most important thing in order to define our economic policies. Everything is based on US dollars, from prices to the minimum wage. Let me explain how it works.
Humahuaca, Argentina - Indios dancing at the Tilcara carnival

Living by the dollar

The value of the dollar is the most important thing after football and Messi, the local championship and the World Cup. Yes, trust me. Despite the fact that this issue always gets on our nerves, many times we have incredibly become the most passionate fans of dollar pricing. I remember the 2001 crisis; people could not withdraw their savings from banks because of the corralito. Savings were in US dollars as were mortgages and some loans. It was because of the Argentine Currency Board where the exchange rate was fixed at one dollar to one Argentine peso by law. But the law could not prevent the country from getting into difficulties. So, at the end of 2001, in order to stop a bank run, the government put the bank accounts in a kind of freezer to avoid the collapse of the banking system. Unfortunately, as I said before, people had their savings in dollars and there were restrictions on withdrawals. Lots of people waited in line at banks to go through the process of recovering their money, and during the protests we were singing the national anthem while demanding our savings in dollars!!!
Humahuaca, Argentina - People at the market
This is one of several contrasts in our country. We are really fanatical about these things and, due to our economic history, we prefer to have our savings in dollars instead of our currency because we think the dollar is more reliable and stable than the peso, which has suffered many devaluations. In order to speak about instability, we must consider devaluation, the Argentine peso, and the price of the dollar. When we hear on TV that there was an increase in the price of dollars, we worry about our future, our jobs, and our savings. We want to withdraw savings, to have supplies in stock at home, and to buy dollars on the black market. This is done through street sellers named arbolitos (small trees on the street are a metaphor for illegal sellers of dollars). Food, fuel and all consumer goods prices increase as the dollar appreciates. It is like a stampede, and the government needs intervention to stop it. The hyperinflation in 1989 is truly remembered by all of us. Fortunately, at the present time, this situation is under control despite our economic difficulties, but memories are memories and the impression of instability surrounding an appreciation of the dollar sticks with us.
Iruza, Argentina - Indian people on the street

Political fluctuations in Argentina

We know about political instability. Our country is, in fact, a really young country in comparison to the United States or Europe. We have only two hundred years of history! The Constitution was approved in 1853 after a few attempts to draft it. There were several internal conflicts before the rise of the Argentine Republic, a real civil war. Our political history has always been between two factions: after the May Revolution, between the two leaders Moreno and Saavedra; then between Federalists and Centralists (Unitarian Party). By the end of the XIX century, the factions were the Conservative Party and the Radical Civic Union. At the beginning of the XX century, the Radical Party saw a struggle between Irigoyen and Alvear, with a period of military coups, as the consequence. After that, the years of “for and against” or anti started: Peronist and antiperonist, Azules and Colorados (1963 Argentine Navy revolt), Military dictatorship against subversive terrorists or the population against the military powers. In the meantime from 1930 to 1976 there were six military coups, the last one, from 1976 to 1983, was called the Dirty War (Guerra sucia) during which military and security forces and right-wing death squads under the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (Triple A) hunted down and killed left-wing guerrillas with roughly 30,000 citizens disappearing. Thus, there has been political instability throughout our entire history, from the beginning of the nation.
Purmamarca, Argentina - Gauchos at traditional festival

During the twentieth century it was a fact that a democratic government could not end with another democratic period following because the military always intervened. In addition, several times we discovered ourselves calling for military power in the face of the troubles during the “X” government. Besides this, the feeling of instability that everything will end shortly and long-term projects are impossible is something that prevails all the time. The feeling is that there is no continuity from one political period to another. Instead of carrying on with successful policies, new governments from different parties change almost everything as if we can delete a word in a text and write it again, giving it a second try.
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Street musicians in the San Telmo neighborhood

Political fluctuations can be reflected in economic matters. There was a time when we could obtain a mortgage loan for a house paid off over more than twenty years of low rates. However, people are nervous about credit now. In Argentina there is a principle: every ten years, the economy blows up and carries the government along with it. Getting into debt is something unthinkable for many of us, although some of our fellow countrymen still take out loans to buy a house or goods if the salary and the employment conditions allow it.
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Musicians

After the Dirty War, during President Alfonsin’s government, there was another type of political instability associated with economic issues. They were inherited from National Reorganization Process in the military dictatorship. The Austral currency was devaluated in 1989 and the economy slipped into hyperinflation. As a result, Alfonsin had to surrender command to the newly elected president Carlos Menem because of the crisis. In the early 2000s, in the middle of the corralito crisis, there were five presidents in a period of two weeks. There were protests over savings and calls for politicians to leave the government. This is the origin of the very famous words que se vayan todos – impossible to fulfill.
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires 


The impression of instability in regard to the government or the economy continues. It is considered something idiosyncratic about us. Election campaigns are based on the coming crisis if we vote for another party: an economic collapse with the appreciation of the dollar, unemployment, violence, inflation, high crime rates, and other calamities. We are used to this situation, to being in a crisis, to living in instability, to complaining about everything, with protests and petitions. These feelings are part of us. They are part of who we are and how we are. And the only desire to be better is related to getting the economy right. It doesn’t matter if the government is corrupt, or if we might be involved in a bad outcome as a result of bad policies. When the ruling party gets into difficulties, we all believe that it is likely it will not finish its term. However, none of this bothers us. There is just one thing we consider important: the economy.

Silvana Renée Borghi

The Emblem of Instability Transposed in postcard booklet at 1080 Wyckoff

Work cited:

Arkonsid, Ricardo: Las causas de la crisis del 2001. UNICEN. Retrieved from http://www.unicen.edu.ar/content/las-causas-de-la-crisis-de-2001

Kiguel, M. A. (1999). The Argentine currency board (No. 152). Universidad del CEMA.

The Emblem of Instability Transposed in postcard booklet at 1080 Wyckoff


Photo 1: Salta, Argentina by Heather Emond

Photo 2: Humahuaca, Argentina - Indios dancing at the Tilcara carnival by Fotoember

Photo 3: Humahuaca, Argentina - People at the market by Fotoember

Photo 4: Iruza, Argentina - Indian people on the street by Fotoember

Photo 5: Purmamarca, Argentina - Gauchos at traditional festival by Fotoember

Photo 6: Buenos Aires, Argentina - Street musicians in the San Telmo neighborhood by Peek Creative Collective

Photo 7: Buenos Aires, Argentina - Musicians by Peek Creative Collective

Photo 8: Buenos Aires, Argentina - Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires by Peek Creative Collective

Parts of the Emblem of Instability

Alvisi, Andrea. Political and Social Instability: The Brexit Mess. May 2017.

Bahras. Unstable Air Pollution - Unstable Solutions: Mongolia. June 2017.

Bichen, Svetlana Novoselova. Mental and Cultural Instability: Russia and Turkey. February 2017.

Caetano, Raphael. Instabilidade emocional: Brazil. February 2017.

Çakır, Peren. On the Road in Search of Stability: Argentina and Turkey. June 2017.

Cordido, Verónica. Instability, a Stable Reality: Venezuela and America. April 2017.

Dastan, S.A. The Stability of Instability: Turkey and Syria. March 2017.

D'Adam, Anton. Psychosocial Instability in Argentina and America: El granero del mundo and The Manifest Destiny. January 2017.

Delibasheva, Emilia. Political Instability: Electoral Coups in America and Bulgaria. December 2016.

Ellie. Angry Folk: Korea. June 2017.

Farid, Isis Kamal. Stability Is Not An Option - Egypt. August 2017.

Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.

Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016.

Ghadir, Younes. Political Instability - Lebanon. September 2017.

Halimi, Sophia. Modern Instabilité: Youth and Employment in France and China. March 2017.

Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Embracing Instability - Spain. February 2017.

Kelvin, Sera. The Stability in Expecting Emotional Instability: Brazil. April 2017.

Konbaz, Rahaf. The Castaways: On the Verge of Life - Syria. August 2017.

Korneeva, Ekaterina. Instability... or Flexibility? July 2017.

Larousse, Annabelle. Legal and Emotional Instability in a Transgender Life - Ireland. August 2017.

Larrosa, Mariela. The Very Stable Spanish Instability. April 2017.

Lobos, José. Political Instability: Guatemala. May 2017.

Mankevich, Tatsiana. The Absence of Linguistic Stabilнасцi: Does the Belarusian Language Have a Future? December 2016.

Meschi, Isabelle. Linguistic Instabilité and Instabilità: France and Italy. November 2016.

Mitra, Ashutosh. The Instability of Change: India. January 2016.

Moussly, Sahar. The Instability of Tyranny: Syria and the Syrian Diaspora. December 2016.

Nastou, Eliza. Psychological Αστάθεια and Inestabilidad during the Economic Crisis: Greece and Spain. December 2016.

Nevosadova, Jirina. Whatever Happens, It Is Experience. May 2017.

Partykowska, Natalia. Niestabilność and адсутнасць стабільнасці in the Arts: Polish and Belarusian Theater. January 2017.

Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.

Pranevich, Liubou. Cultural Instability: Belarus and Poland. March 2017.

Protić, Aleksandar. Demographic Instability: Serbia. July 2017.

Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.

Sekulić, Jelena. Нестабилност/Nestabilnost in Language - Serbia. August 2017.

Sepa, Andreea. Instabilitate vs. Stabilität: How Important Are Cultural Differences? - Romania and Germany. September 2017.

Shunit. Economic Instability: Guinea and Gambia. April 2017.

Shalunova, Marina. Language Instability: Russia. June 2017

Sitorus, Rina. Instabilitas Toleransi: Indonesia. May 2017.

Skrypka, Vladyslav. National нестійкість: Ukraine. July 2017.

Staniulis, Justas. Nestabilumas of Gediminas Hill and the Threat to the Symbol of the State: Lithuania. July 2017.

Sousa, Antonia. Social and Economic Instabilidade: Portugal. January 2017.

Vuka. My Intimate Imbalanced Inclination. March 2017.

Walton, Éva. Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture. January 2017.

Yücel, Sabahattin. The Instability of Turkish Education and its Effect on Culture and Language: Turkey. July 2017.

Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.

Zakharova, Anastasiya. Instability in Relationships: Russia. April 2017.

To follow: emblems by Syrian, Romanian, Lebanese, Argentinian, Moldavan, British writers and translators

Further reading

Azazeal, Alex. Отражение Spiegelt Reflection. 2014.

Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.

Friedrich, Angelika. Sub-Under-U-метро-Bahn-Ground-Way. 2014.

Gergiev, Vladimir. Street - Straße - Улица. 2014

Metivier, Anthony. Kunstart. 2014.

Smirnov, Yuri. Art de streetулица. 2013.

Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem - Junk Culture - Müll Trashed Мусор (Part I). August 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem - Junk Culture - Müll Trashed Мусор (Part II). August 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry, et al. Transposing Emblem - Junk Culture - Müll Trashed Мусор (Part III). September 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016.

Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.

Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.

Whittlesey, Henry. Müll trashed мусор. 2013

Visit www.transposing.net for more information about transposition.

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