Photographs by Richard Freeman
Juventud Partido Socialista Democrático (JPSD) - Youth Group of the Democratic-Socialist Party
While in graduate school I still worked summers at the photo lab in Chicago. One of my colleagues was complaining that his paycheck seemed to be covering less and less of his expenses. Yet, he was going to vote for Bush (senior), who promised to continue the same economic policies as Reagan. I couldn't understand why. At this time I was searching for themes for my research. I was always active in politics, and Buenos Aires was the most politically charged environment I had ever been in. I spent a part of the next summer there specifically to find a research topic. Marching with the Mothers of the Plaza Mayo one Thursday I met Lucho, a young man from the JPSD. He invited me to a film screening they were holding that week. I went, and met several other members, as well as senior members of the Party. I thought of my colleague back in Chicago and his political beliefs and then began to wonder why these youths, in the aftermath of the dictatorship, decided to work for the socialist party. What, anthropologically speaking, was going on here? (see a PDF of my preface for a better definition of what this means). I mentioned to them that I was hoping to return in two years to stay and conduct participatory-observational research, would they mind if I joined them. Two years later (1996) I shocked them by actually showing up. Many from this group are now good friends of mine, whom I have visited several times since that original 2-year research stay. Here are some of their activities that I captured on film during my research, and a few from later visits.