Let's talk

The Violence of Gentrification: a free talk in English by Leah Pattem

16 November 2023

Throughout November and December, I will explain with first-hand experience how and why Lavapiés has intentionally been targeted by the authorities. I take a critical view on the previously held perception that gentrification is slow, passive, and inevitable, which I firmly believe it is not.

Living Museums

Villa de Vallekas Fiestas in photos: fried food, fairground rides and stormy nights

15 September 2023

After the hottest summer on record, the skies are filled with constant lightning and the fiesta grounds are intermittently flooding. But nothing can stop the smoke machines pluming into the neon lights of the fairground rides, or the pounding of reggaeton while families and friends bump each other on the dodgem dance floor. Here’s a snapshot of the summer fiestas in Villa de Vallekas.

Climate Crisis

The DANA disaster shows why weather warnings require trust

7 September 2023

A DANA (a mass of high-altitude cold air mixes with warm humid air from the Mediterranean) hit Spain yesterday, affecting Madrid and Toledo the worst. Emergency services responded to around 1,500 incidents of people trapped in their cars and homes, which left two people dead and two more missing. The country experienced its third heaviest rainfall on record which Spain’s weather agency AEMET predicted, but miscalculated the timings.

Let's talk

Spain 23 July election: ‘No pasaron’ (they did not pass)

24 July 2023

In last few days, polls and right-leaning media published that a lurch to the far-right in Spain was all but inevitable. They were so adamant, it felt as though they were almost willing on a far-right shift. Fortunately, and against the so-called odds, Spaniards put just enough left-wing slips in the ballot boxes to stop the far-right trend we’re seeing elsewhere in Europe, keeping the country on the most progressive track in its history.

Climate Crisis

Pool drama brings Madrid’s climate crisis to the surface

20 July 2023

Pool tickets go on sale online 49 hours before doors open. Within two or three minutes, all 585 tickets to the city centre’s only public outdoor pool, Peñuelas, are gone.

Over the past few weeks, a conspiracy theory grew that a few people were monopolising tickets, booking them quickly and then selling them off to their friends. The theory appeared partly true when a 400-strong neighbourhood WhatsApp group called ‘Peñuelas pool’ hit the headlines, with members being called a “mafia of families”.

Climate Crisis

Madrid’s climate inequality: temperature readings reveal 15-degree difference between rich and poor barrios

10 July 2023

A group of local activists launched the citizens’ initiative #termometrada on Saturday with the aim of regularly reading temperatures in 169 locations around Madrid. Measurements will be taken at various times of the day: at sunrise, two hours after sunset, and at 5pm, when heat peaks across the city. Readings are taken electronically, at head-height and in the shade. After several minutes, the reading will settle and can be recorded.

Lost & Found

Brand-new museum celebrates Madrid as the only European capital with Islamic origins

29 June 2023

Madrid’s new Museum of Royal Collections has unexpectedly become home to the most significant Muslim heritage site in the city. Next month, the King and Queen of Spain will unveil a recently rediscovered section of the founding settlement of Madrid – the oldest known part of the 9th-century Islamic wall. The find has prompted a shift in the narrative around the capital’s origins as an Islamic outpost, confirming that Madrid did indeed start out as a Muslim settlement.

Lost & Found

“Pateras: the shame of Europe”

26 June 2023

In 2018, the small port of Barbate in Cádiz hosted an eerie exhibition of disused pateras (small boats). The Town Hall’s plan was to raise public awareness around the phenomenon of irregular immigration and the human drama for people who risk their lives to cross the Strait.


The Melilla Massacre one year on

24 June 2023

As of today, 70 people are still missing, 22 remain in the Nador morgue and at least 37 were killed. Even though the Guardia Civil claimed to have had blood-soaked uniforms during the incident, none of them were harmed.