Photographer Adriana Lestido’s book, “Metropolis” (RM Editions, 2021) is a sumptuously poetic invocation of life at the beginning of the 1990s in Buenos Aires. Through dreamlike black-and-white images, Lestido guides us through what the publisher says is, “A city that seems both distant and contemporary.”

Lestido originally made the photos in “Metropolis” for a weekly supplement of the same name for Buenos Aires’s fabled Pagina/12 newspaper. The supplement highlighted the different neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and Lestido was given free rein to roam freely, camera in-hand, to make photos for it.

Once done with her Pagina/12 assignments, the photos she took ended up sequestered in storage. Then in 2018, the Argentine filmmaker Fernando Spiner wanted to make a movie about, coincidentally, a photographer in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the 1990s. He asked Lestido, who by then had become an acclaimed photographer, if he could use some of the photos she took from that time that had not already been published or exhibited.

The answer to that question was “yes,” and that sent Lestido searching through the archives she had mostly forgotten about for decades. As it turns out, those photos were a perfect match for the movie. They collectively show a Buenos Aires that, like most cities over time, doesn’t really exist anymore.

Lestido’s photos of Buenos Aires during this time are magnetic and luring. As Juan Forn writes in an introduction to “Metropolis’:

“I don’t know about you but if I were shown these photographs, I would immediately want to see the film this photographer was in. The setting is there before our eyes. All we need is to imagine a young woman in a leather jacket, handbag in-hand and wavy black hair who manages to make herself invisible to capture these scenes of a Buenos Aires that is about to disappear. What is to come is close but not here yet.”

You can find out more about Lestido’s work on her website, here. And you can buy the book from the publisher’s website, here.I

n Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff members and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.