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Argentina, we dance

Queer tango in Buenos Aires


This piece by Nina Meghji was originally published in the New Internationalist’s January-February 2021 issue, The Biodiversity Emergency.

Nina is a member of LAB’s Voices of Latin America team and first interviewed Edgardo for the Voices book in Buenos Aires in November 2016.

Argentina’s strict lockdown measures have seen an outpouring of solidarity for queer tango in Buenos Aires.

Edgardo Fernández Sesma, LGBTQI+ activist and queer tango teacher, has advocated for social inclusion and sexual and gender diversity in his home country for nearly 30 years.

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In his version of the quintessential Argentinian dance, there are none of the heteronormative gender dynamics traditionally assumed by ‘male’ and ‘female’ dancers.

As Sesma’s classes have moved from the capital’s clubs, community centres and plazas to online platforms, his solidarity campaigns – raising awareness of homophobia, transphobia, femicide and the abuse of older people – have gained traction with social-media users across Latin America and in both the US and Europe.

Sesma looks forward to a time when all social spaces or ‘salons’ (dance halls) are free from discrimination and prejudice. He’s optimistic, anticipating that post Covid19, queer tango ‘will proliferate, in a way which is different, but greater than before’.

Read more about how Edgardo navigated the digital space for his queer tango classes during Argentina’s lockdowns.

Main image: Maite Dobarro (Tango Queer Buenos Aires). Teacher, dancer, activist and organiser. Facebook