Framing Urban Communities


Official website of the Leverhulme-funded project Comics and the Latin American City: Framing Urban Communities.

La sudestada

La sudestada by Juan Sáenz Valiente is the story of a bitter, resentful and aging private detective. Employed to investigate a wealthy man’s wife, he traces the choreographer to a house in Tigre, the delta to the north of Buenos Aires, where she performs her expressionist dance forms in the mud and leaves of the verdant river landscape. As so often in Argentine culture, Tigre functions here as a kind of urban unconscious, the other space that throws the city into relief. But La sudestada is also full of meticulously drawn cityscapes, which capture the sense of city caught between an urbanism of the spectacle and the more chaotic, less iconic but ultimately more authentic images of water tanks, corrugated iron, washing lines, aircon units, weeds, pipes, wires, ladders, clothes and cables. Such images capture the materiality of what we might call ‘the urban unspectacle’.