The filete porteño, Intangible Cultural Heritage

Buenos Aires city’s typical painting technique, joins Tango in the category of cultural expressions of universal value recognized by UNESCO.

In a recent statement, UNESCO informed that the filete porteño, a traditional decorative technique from Buenos Aires city, has been recognized as part of the  Intangible cultural heritage. The filete embellishes posters, coletivos -urban buses- or the facade of houses and shops with a very distinctive style, which includes intense colours and themes obtained from popular culture.

This technique flourished with the city’s frantic growth in the early twentieth century and remains relevant mainly due to the artisans’ ongoing work. Today, the filete porteño is an unmistakable sign of Buenos Aires.

Its strokes full of ornaments, and curves and reverse curves are the graphical counterpart to the firuletes executed by Tango dancers. It is no coincidence that this typical urban music and dance had already achieved the same award in 2009.

According to UNESCO, practices registered as part of this Intangible cultural heritage, include both traditions passed from generation to generation and expressions of present time lifestyle of different cultural groups. Besides, they promote social cohesion and are true samples of shared values of the communities in which they take place. This recognition not only favours its visibility and promotion, but is also accompanied by actions that guarantee its survival.

Photo: “Fileteado puro” by Sara&lain of London UK – Filet Art.

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