Today, all cars and buses will be diverted from the city centre, and shepherds will herd their flocks through Madrid. In a spectacle witnessed by lots of confused onlookers, hundreds of sheep will stroll through our grandest boulevards.
Look closely and you’ll see that every single tile inside this restaurant is zellige: an ancient Moorish design whose pattern has been trending throughout the Arab world since around the seventh century.
Those hermetic voile curtains are partly to preserve Café El Despertar’s clandestine atmosphere, they’re but mostly there to deter the naive walk-in customer. The steely elderly owner, with his enviable beard, is interested only in clientele who are specifically here for his jazz music, and most certainly not the police, who, for good reason, he constantly fears.
Conciencia Afro may be a festival that celebrates African identity, but its core purpose is to confront the harsh reality of racism that Madrid’s African community faces on a daily basis.
When I took these photographs, I thought it would take a little longer than a couple of years for them to become an archive of the lost.
As well as cleaning, receiving post, and providing comfort and security to her residents, María has invaluable long-term knowledge of her building. She knows every square inch, who has lived here and who has died here. She knows things you wish you knew, and things you’re glad you don’t.
From river launderettes and crucifix carpenters to streetlamp lighters and shoeshiners – in just the last few decades, countless jobs that had existed for centuries have disappeared. Let’s take a glimpse of these lost trades and professions, because there’s a lot we can learn from what is now obsolete.
Madrid in August is a giant ghost town, except for the fraction of establishments that remain open for business (even the vending machines have closed for the holidays). But August is also the most curious month, with roadworks suddenly exposing a proliferation of ‘rabbit holes’ that lead to a forgotten era.
Hearty, home-cooked Senegalese food rolls out of the kitchen fast at Mandela 100, which is owned by Mamadou from Senegal. His Africa-themed diner has hit the ground running, much to the delight – and relief – of Lavapiés locals, because it’s not just quality that can be found here; it’s also equality.
Ice cream academic Pedro begins the week at his micro ice cream factory in the working-class neighbourhood of Vallecas. His aim is to experiment with a new savoury ingredient, while also finding the perfect level of sweetness.