Food offers a bridge between distant cultures in Buenos Aires’ Chinatown

By Valerie Shuang Chen, Shijia (Miley) Sun and Tianqi Gou
Medill Reports

BUENOS AIRES —

Argentina is the furthest country in the world away from China, and the differences are immediately noticeable to a Chinese reporter. From vibrant street murals, to stifling heat, the city combines faded European architecture with Latin passion.

But we found home here in Chinatown.

Chinese immigrants first moved to this part of the city in the 1980s. It’s kind of hard to imagine how they first settled down, in a faraway country where meat is the only meal, dinner starts at nine, and everyone around you is speaking Spanish. But they found their way to tantalize the Argentine’s taste buds with supermarkets and restaurants.

In this video story, Tianqi Gou meets Karina Gao, who immigrated to Argentina at the age of nine. She runs her own blog called Palitos de Bambu, or bamboo shoots.  It features Argentinian and Chinese recipes.

Gao is known to many here for her appearances on a cooking reality show. Her background and expertise help her demonstrate and write about the cuisines of both cultures.

Tianqi also visits Todos Contentos, one of the oldest restaurants in Buenos Aires’ Chinatown. It opened in 1986 and restaurateur Yie Pi Sia is an institution in the neighborhood.

In the conversations, we see how food, carrying the flavor of our memories and the taste of home, is the best pill to cure homesickness and a great way to build culinary connections between divergent cultures.

Photo at top: Blogger, food writer and television personality Karina Gao shops at one of the oldest supermarkets in Chinatown in Buenos Aires on February 13, 2019 (Valerie Chen and Miley Sun/MEDILL)

Artists talk freedom in Buenos Aires, a city that embraces street art

Clara Seung Lee and Karleigh Michelle Stone
Medill Reports

BUENOS AIRES —

The city of Buenos Aires bares its beauty in multi-faceted ways, from the sensuous tango dancers luring tourists in the streets of Caminito, to the aroma of Porteño cuisine that triggers an immediate appetite to anyone walking by during lunch or dinner time.

But, arguably, one of the most underrated features of Buenos Aires is its love for and dedication to street art.

“Street art” has its stereotypes. People will most likely think of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, or even illegal graffiti. But there is absolutely nothing illegal or secretive about the murals and public art seen on walls throughout Buenos Aires. Street art is not just accepted, it’s very much appreciated by this South American city.

Artists from abroad — including female artists and artists with political agendas — are all welcome to paint without restriction, just as long as they get the permission from the property owners.

In the middle of the mid-summer heat, Martín Ron, Nicolás Romero, and Tano Verón all seemed happy to discuss their artwork with a paintbrush in hand.

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Jail bond reform heats up as Illinois lawmakers push for abolishment

By Nadia Adams
Medill Reports

On this episode of Medill Newsmakers, Illinois lawmakers are considering doing away with cash bond to reduce incarceration rates and reach economic fairness for low-income individuals charged with relatively minor offenses.

Opponents argue that if this law is imposed it leaves domestic violence victims at risk to be attacked again. They also say taking away cash bond eliminates the ability for local courts to fund services for crime victims.

Photo at top: At the West Side Center for Justice, Devoureaux Wolf, makes it apart of his mission to helping those who walk through this door. Growing up in the Austin neighborhood, he says he knows all too well the struggles people are dealing with in the criminal justice system. (Nadia Adams/MEDILL)

Art and technology in Chicago and beyond

by Cyan Zhong
Medill Newsmakers

What happens at the intersection of art and technology? Chicago has the answer.

From the world’s largest public art display, a tech-infused interactive museum to educating the future generation of artists, the windy city provides a rich cultural landscape for interdisciplinary creativity. On this episode of Medill Newsmakers, we explore how digital technology helps expand the definition of art.

Photo at top: Everyday after sunset, Chicagoans can enjoy the lighting projection at Art on the Mart along the river. (Cyan Zhong/Medill Reports)

Despite launch delay, NU undergrads plow ahead with redesign for NASA freeze-casting experiments

By Lauren Robinson
Medill Reports

Young scientists are racing to deliver by October a satellite payload of instruments to test freeze-casting — technology that could free space explorers from expensive, time-consuming deliveries of supplies from Earth.

The team of Northwestern University undergraduates building the innards for a small satellite called a “CubeSat” missed the launch window last year but are getting ready for another try.

“The sample container failed,” explains Kristen Scotti, a graduate student and mentor for SpaceICE, the initiative creating the CubeSat instrumentation to test freeze-casting for eventual manufacturing needs in space. Essentially, the glass containers for three sample suspensions were cracking, and anything less than airtight would jeopardize the freeze-casting process, dependent upon controlled temperatures and accurate readings.
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Argentinian twins fight for fútbol equality

By Nicole Croteau and Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

BUENOS AIRES —

Since before they entered elementary school, twin sisters Emilia and Delfina Zolesio Fernández Blanco have wanted to play soccer — the male-dominated, quasi-religion in their native Argentina.  At age 12, they had earned spots on a great team, playing with boys at a Buenos Aires athletic club. But other coaches and parents complained, forcing them off the field.

They fought back, and went to court to win the right to play.

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Sustainable is fashionable

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

By contributing 10 percent of global carbon emissions, 20 percent of industrial water pollution, and almost 35 percent of microplastics in the oceans, the fashion industry has become the third most polluting industry in the world.

On this episode of Medill Newsmakers local designers, Jamie Hayes of Production Mode, and Lesley Timpe of Squasht Boutique, talk about how they keep production eco-friendly and share tips for shoppers to do so too.

 

Photo at top: Lesley Timpe of Squasht Boutique talks sustainable fashion with Karleigh Stone. (Karleigh Stone/MEDILL)

College athletes tackle mental health

By Max Goodman
Medill Reports

Take a moment and think about the amount of responsibilities that are on any college varsity athlete’s plate…

These student athletes have a full slate of practices, games, classes, assignments and meetings on a daily basis. Not to mention seeking out sleep, a social life, relationships, family matters and time to just relax.

On this episode of Medill Newsmakers we take a deep look at how these busy, high pressure and often overwhelming schedules impact the mental health of these young adults.

Photo at top: Kiley Jones, pitcher on the Loyola Ramblers softball team, smiles while examining the diamond. (Kiley Jones/@kileyjones00 on Instagram)

Artificial intelligence; its business usage, current landscape, road ahead

By Jessica Xieyang Qiao
Medill Reports

Artificial intelligence is coming into the mainstream. Still, a host of challenges remain.

On this episode of Medill Newsmakers, we talk to Chicago-based machine learning engineers and chief technology officers to explore key challenges and opportunities facing AI.

Photo at top: Machine learning-based techniques can be used to solve many real-world problems. (Xresch/Pixabay)

Queer fashion makes its way into the mainstream fashion market

By Thomas Ilalaole
Medill Reports

On this episode of Medill Newsmakers we take a closer look at the phenomenon that is queer fashion. Queer Fashion is fashion that exists outside the binary of fashion – it is simply fluid. Throughout history queer fashion has always had a narrative and perspective that challenges gender norms and colors outside the lines.

What’s your fashion narrative and how does it influence your gender expression?

Photo at top: Stevie Boi NØIR” Fashion Show for Bahamas Fashion Week. (Vernique Henfield/Director of Public Relations & Social Media)