Friday, June 26, 2009

Mark & Maria

Argentina has been in the world spotlight this week, thanks to the indiscretions of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, pictured above with Buenos Aires Gov. Daniel Scioli in La Plata, Argentina exactly one year ago today, June 26, 2008, apparently right around the time his affair with an Argentine woman, believed to be Maria Belen Chapur, started.

I have been working like crazy the last two days on this story. Nothing gets the U.S. press more worked up than a political sex scandal, and I've been getting calls from every media outlet imagineable, asking for my help in tracking down the alleged amante. So far, no one has had any luck speaking with her, or even seeing her. Local and international press have been staked out at her apartment in Palermo since Wednesday night. I was there that night, filming b-roll of the building and neighborhood for CNN. Yesterday, I did a live shot on the CNN International show "I-Desk" talking about the media frenzy, and Argentine's bemusement over American's obsession with high-profile affairs. As I said on-air, philandering politicians are the norm here.

Now that the King of Pop has passed, I'll be curious to see if the U.S. media's interest in this story stays strong, or fades away.....

Power Shift in Argentina?

The campaigning officially ended last night, but Argentina is still at a fever pitch ahead of Sunday's mid-term Congressional elections, which have essentially become a referendum on Nestor and Cristina Kirchner (above), a situation created entirely of their own doing.

Here's a story I filed this week for CNN International on the possible power shift, and another, shorter item in this week's Newsweek International.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ArteBA 2009

ArteBA is always one of my favorite cultural events of the year in Buenos Aires. It's full of fantastic art from around the continent, and it's glamorous too, but in a way that is accessible to everyone, not just the cultural 'elite.' As a result, it attracts an eclectic, and enormous, crowd every year. There's something to be said for that, because that is not the case with art fairs in many cities around the globe.

I've written about ArteBA before, in this article for ARTINFO in 2006. This year, I covered it for CNN International and, but approached the story from a decidedly different angle, as the world's economic situation is much different than it was three years ago.

To my surprise (and theirs), every gallery owner I spoke with told me that sales were strong.

You can watch the CNNI report here and read the story here.

And here's my behind-the-scenes report for "Backstory"

All photos by Brian Byrnes.