Pigeons, Politics and Peronists

Abandoned building in Buenos Aires

Last year I ended the year by reflecting on my progress and life goals from the past year and trying to put into place some plans for the next. I have made a very clear rule that when making resolutions they never include the words don’t, won’t or can’t. Everything has to have a positive slant…it has to ADD something to my life. The resulting bucket list that I wrote is full of my ambitions and I am setting out to complete at least some of then this year. One of the items on the bucket list has been a long held dream of mine. To complete a comic or graphic novel and while I am usually a huge procrastinator and an expert at finding distractions with the end of the world looming on December 21st I decided to take the plunge and get started on a project and that project is….

Villa Pomba!

Villa Pomba was a project born and bred in Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires there are a lot of abandoned buildings and there happens to be one just across the street from my house. It appears that someone started building (we suppose before 2001) and then after the crisis the building just…well…stopped…and in the place of the people who should be living there is a giant colony of pigeons. During a drunken night on the balcony watching the pigeons we started calling the building “Villa Pomba” and then the name, and the idea, just kind of stuck. For those non-spanish speakers a ‘villa’ is a kind of slum here in Buenos Aires where people live in poorly constructed houses with little amenities. (You can read a little bit about them in my article La Boca Grita.) The word “Pomba” is the Portuguese word for pigeon  which I think sounds much cuter than the Spanish version – paloma. I decided to write the story in (awful) Spanish to practise what I have been learning here and to get one step closer to my C2 level in Spanish which is one of my new years goals.The book is part satire, part comedy and part tragedy and  tells the story of a pigeon named Eduardo who goes to find his fortune in Buenos Aires after watching the documentary “Romantic Argentina,” which in fact exists  and shows, among other things, people selling milk fresh from the cow in the city centre and a man who likes to paint the “dull” pigeons bright colours. If you would like to take your own journey to Romantic Argentina then click here. What is perhaps the funniest thing of all is that a few days  after the creation of Villa Pomba the Argentinian newspaper Clarin ran a story with the headline:

 “En Retiro y Recoleta atacarán la invasión de palomas torcazas”

  I couldn’t help but laugh to myself…the story covered the Issue of abandoned buildings (and particular streets including mine) which were being overrun by the pigeons…clearly I am gaining the ability to tell the future? Luckily the real Argentine solution to the problem isn’t as grisly as the one my imagination came up with! Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase Once completed Villa Pomba will be available in English and Spanish via my Etsy store (coming soon!)but more on that soon!     Related articles

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