PasaCalles – The Little Known Street Culture In Buenos Aires
By Marcio Picciolo April 10 – 2016
What is a “pasacalle”? Good question. If you have been in Buenos Aires for a while and have been to different barrios (neighborhoods), you might have already seen one of these ‘banners’, but you were probably also confused by it. Well, I’m a local, so I’m used to seeing them all around the city, but it never occurred to me that they might seem a bit out of the ordinary for a visitor.
Also Read: Graffiti Street Art in Buenos Aires
A pasacalle is a banner sign made out of burlap that is hung up from post to post or trees across a street so that cars can read it as they drive by or under them. Know what I’m talking about now?
Due to “visual contamination”, the Argentine law says that it is illegal to hang any type of non-official sign or banner on the streets without a proper permission. Still, some pasacalles make it to the streets of barrios like La Boca, Flores, Almagro (pretty much all the neighborhoods except Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo, Belgrano and maybe Retiro).
Publicity agencies and smaller printing businesses are the ones who can make these kinds of signs upon request. Some of the messages featured are of commercial or political purposes, some are publicized by individuals who want to express their love for someone special and for celebration. It could be “Happy 15th birthday Jane Doe!” or “Honey, happy anniversary! I love you.”
Here’s a picture of a typical pasacalle:
It says, “Eliana Dora Duek, Did you enjoy fucking my husband and getting your ass workout?”
Those of positive content are the most common ones but you can also come across some that are pretty hilarious for anyone who is not the person the pasacalle is addressed to, like this one:
It says, “Pepe, you are a loser. Everyone makes progress in life, except you. Dad”
Here is an other one:
Dear Silvi, congratulations on becoming a lawyer. We know it was hard and it took a lot of effort. We love you Mom, Dad, Caro, Etc
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