Madrid is experiencing a deadly climate crisis but the council continues to make a series of dangerous moves

19 February 2023

In winter 2021, Madrid experienced the worst snowstorm in 300 years and lost around 80,000 trees. A year later, the city council planted 90,620 saplings, but by summer – the city’s hottest on record – 77% of them had died. Ecologistas en Acción explained: “They left the saplings abandoned and without watering at the height of summer,” rightly claiming that this mass recklessness could and should have been prevented.

No Frills

Bar Vietnam: the beating heart of barrio San Cristóbal

13 February 2023

It’s one of those perfectly no-frills bars where you can get Valdepeñas wine – for ¢80. When I shared these photos on social media, comments came pouring in. The unassuming no-frills bar in Barrio San Cristobal that I’d stumbled across quite by accident turns out to be in the hearts of so many of you. Here’s a small selection.


La tienda no-frills de regalos

6 December 2022

Todo lo que pides se imprime en mi imprenta del barrio. Todos los embalajes proceden de mi papelería familiar de Lavapiés. Todos los pedidos se envían por Correos. Y los demás se entregan en persona por mí, Leah!

Lost & Found

Madrid’s ‘killer’ tornado of 1886

29 November 2022

On Wednesday May 12, 1886, according to several reports at the time, the whole of Spain woke up to strong storms. By 6pm that same day, a tornado touched down in the capital and began a diagonal line of destruction between the then-town of Carabanchel and Madrid’s city-centre Retiro Park.

Let's talk

“In Lavapiés, all of us have the right to be safe”

21 October 2022

I’ve been a resident of Lavapiés for almost 10 years. In that time, even though a lot has changed, there have been a lot of constants. Police are everywhere. Gentrification – the systematic loss of the barrio’s traditional bars, shops and markets – is a day-to-day reality here. On most streets, spray-painted bedsheets hang from balconies expressing an array of concerns from noise pollution and touristification to drug dealing and evictions. Large tour groups that snake through our streets and cluster on our squares have long incorporated the stories of our struggles into their voyeuristic spiel.


The unspoken story of Madrid’s Muslim cemetery

5 October 2022

Following a spike in burials during Madrid’s first wave of Covid-19, the Griñón cemetery ran out of space, but instead of finding a new site, “there have been discussions about exhuming bodies that have already been there for 10 years, but not necessarily informing the families,” says Maysoun. “Another option discussed was to demolish the mosque, but [really] we just need more space.” Beyond a lack of space or access to Islamic burials, however, there’s something else that haunts the families of those buried in Griñón – it’s where Franco’s Moroccan troops are buried.


Spain’s plan for menstrual leave is good, but it can go further

5 October 2022

In May this year, the Spanish cabinet approved a menstrual leave law – the first of its kind in Europe. If it passes in the country’s parliament, people suffering from painful periods will from next year be entitled to a minimum of three days of menstrual leave per month, with the possibility of extending this to five days if necessary.


The eviction of La Quimera

22 September 2022

“I don’t know what time it was but all I heard was ‘BOOM – BOOM – BOOM – CRASH’” said one of the informal residents of La Quimera, holding a small suitcase containing all of his personal belongings. “Then [the police] came inside and told us to leave.”