A couple of weeks ago I was in Buenos Aires city and had some hours to kill before my bus departed. It`s been two years since I have last been in the Capital and it felt a little weird. Almost as if I didn`t belong there. My life in the country side of Argentina is so different and I had difficulty coping with all the people and the constant harassment from people wanting to sell me tickets to Tango shows and tours. Maybe it was my own fault because I looked and dressed like a tourist and had my small camera close by to capture an interesting moment – but still. I didn`t like it.
As I was walking through Calle Florida, one of the busiest streets in the city centre, I got caught in the rain and decided to go to one of the churches close by. It is a beautiful church and I wanted to spend some quiet time there. I enjoy the tranquillity and I knew I could hide there from the craziness in the city.
As I crossed the street I stopped dead in my tracks. What I saw in front of me was not real. A young man was busy cleaning the wooden doors of the church. Some political fanatics have splashed words in red paint all over the beautifully hand crafted doors that have graced the church for hundreds of years. The church had been subjected to vandalism.
I was immediately angry. You see people in Argentina have so much freedom and when they do not agree with the government they do stupid things like this to make a point. I also found it quite disturbing because this happened a week before Easter.
To make things worse they wrote profanities and slogans on the entrance door as well. My heart broke and I could just imagine how this man felt who was trying to clean the mess.
Don`t get me wrong, I believe in freedom of speech, but this is not acceptable.
What would your reaction have been?
Where: Buenos Aires,Argentina
When: 26 March 2012