There’s a life-size statue of a little girl that has taken a permanent seat on a bench in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. She’s a cute little thing, wearing a green dress with a matching hair bow, and is a popular centerpiece in many photos.
This statue was installed in 2009 as a tribute to Mafalda, Argentina’s favorite comic strip character and cultural icon. Cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, popularly known by his pen name Quino, created Mafalda for a comic strip that ran from 1964 until 1974.
Ortiz cleverly used Mafalda’s childhood innocence and humor to question political and social ideas that allude to Argentine reality. Mafalda cared about world peace and humanity and, in her own way, struggled with the problems she observed in her life.
For ten years Mafalda appeared in newspapers and people fell in love with this compassionate six-year old girl who had a special awareness of the world she lived in. Among many quirky characteristics, she’s remembered as the little girl that hates soup and worships The Beatles.
Many of the topics featured in the comic strip are still relevant today. The originals are written in Spanish, but we’ve found a couple in English to share:
Mafalda says her piece about world peace…
Mafalda considers the difference between the northern and southern hemispheres…
Mafalda questions her friend’s future plans…
Click here to watch Mafalda The Movie.
Find Mafalda in Buenos Aires
The statue of Mafalda is built in the same neighborhood of Buenos Aires where her creator Quino once lived. The comic strip still has a huge international following, especially in South America, and fans from every generation go to the corner of Defensa and Chile streets to take their picture with this famous cultural icon.
If you’re planning a trip to Argentina’s capital, don’t forget to snap a couple photos with Mafalda when you’re exploring the San Telmo neighborhood!