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CULTURE | 22-11-2019 22:59

Patti Smith serenades Alberto Fernández at his office

“Patti has a clear vision of the unity that we must build in Latin America to face the challenges of the present moment,” says president-elect (and fan).

In the San Telmo offices of Alberto Fernández this Friday, punk-rock legend Patti Smith delivered an intimate performance and engaged in a moving conversation with the president-elect about the need for political advocacy when it comes to young voices. 

Posted on the president-elect and rock enthusiast’s Instagram account, "punk's poet laureate" gathered around a conference table with Fernández and his collaborators. 

Not shy about his fandom for the artist, Fernández revealed upon taking a seat next to her that he brought his personal copy of her book, Auguries of Innocence, to have signed. 

Smith then looked to the translator and chided, “You can tell him that my president doesn’t have my book.”

After settling into their meeting, the activist outlined the importance of “projecting some kind of love and idealism for our young people” and continued on to share her grander vision for the region.

“When I’m doing my concerts or speaking to journalists, my view is not just about the young people of Chile or the environment in São Paulo, but unity in South America, unity in Latin America.”

The president-elect expressed his approval in an Instagram caption, which read, “Patti has a clear vision of the unity that we must build in Latin America to face the challenges of the present moment.”

This conversation comes after the finale of Smith’s Latin American tour, which closed this past Thursday with her concert at the Buenos Aires Luna Park Stadium and included prior shows in Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. 

The 72-year-old punk-rocker ended their meeting with a heartwarming rendition of her own song “Wing.”

Affectionately open, she placed her hands over his and smiled, in an attempt it seemed to communicate her joy and hope for the soon-to-be president. Throughout the song, she gestured around the room to convey the meaning behind the untranslated lyrics.

Despite maintaining the typical depth and coarseness of her voice, the performance was soft and profound, Smith motioning to Fernández with the weight of the final lyric: “And if there’s one thing, we wish for you...you’ll be a wing in heaven blue.”  

The music heroine concluded with her final note to Fernández, “Do good,” she commanded. “Do good.”

– TIMES/AFP

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