Log # 1

by Aldo Padilla

More than 18 years after I left Buenos Aires with a strange taste, I returned under a totally different scenario, on a plane which arrived 15 minutes before schedule in contrast to that bus in which I travelled for almost 48 running hours, with a passport with stamps from different countries next to a situation of illegality in that January of 1998. An arrival so serene was a sort of reconciliation with a city that marked what would later be the cosmopolitanism that would accompany me for the rest of my life.
If I consider my life cosmopolitan, I must say the same of the group that accompanies me at Talent Press: P, a Colombian critic, A, who arrived from Uruguay, K and L, who have to make a huge journey from some distant point in this endless, disperse mass called Buenos Aires, Q, who will be the tutor to five critics in search of defining their style and myself, a hybrid born in Bolivia, who has been living in Chile for eight years and writes for a Peruvian website. During the day I started to remember something I always emphasise when I teach: to pose the correct questions tends to be more difficult than to know how to answer them. And, precisely, it was the questions what defined my first day. The morning questions: must a critic get involved with certain personal aspects of the director? Does valuation come implicit in the text or must we manifest it openly? The lunch questions: how do the Chinese on the corner maintain that method of selling food so varied at such a low price? The afternoon questions: why does the Portuguese language give me such peace of mind? Why do the Brazilians who came to Talents BA speak Spanish so well?
A verde amarelha afternoon that can be summed up in a short film which a Paulista director presented at the One by One section, where she films the journey through a bridge in Lisbon while a calm voice in the background transported me back to two hours before, to a Joâo Moreira Salles remembering his childhood in No intenso agora, which was interrupted with the abrupt shot of a column of smoke during a demonstration which would then be explained was recorded during the incidents of 2013.
During the 25th hour of the day the only thing that managed to appear in my mind were the questions I had not formulated. The shyness of writing so openly in the first person, I cannot pose it as a question or as an answer, only as some long ellipsis that has made me write and erase these lines over and over again.

Tutor, Quintín
Translator, Clara Picasso
Talent Press Coordinator/Programmer, Mariángela Martínez Restrepo
Picture, Aldo Padilla