Paris has the Eiffel Tower; New York has the Statue of Liberty. But Madrid almost had this: a 200-meter-high globe in the middle of Retiro Park. This “Monumento a Colón” was designed before 1892 to commemorate 400 years since Columbus landed in the Americas, and to attempt to justify the Spanish Empire at a time when it was crumbling.
At least 37 people were killed attempting to cross from Africa to Europe on Friday. Most victims were from Sudan, South Sudan and Chad – countries involved in armed conflicts. If the victims had made it to Spain, they would likely have received international protection. Instead, authorities formed a massive human block locking in those who were falling from the wire fences. They were trapped on a slope by the border fence on the Moroccan side and were crushed to death.
It was 25 May 2020, just a few weeks after confinement, and we were finally allowed to stroll the streets with no particular purpose. Back then, the abueles were staying at home a bit more than now, spending many hours on standing at the windows or on their balconies interacting with passersby. It was the only socialising they could do, and so small exchanges became extremely important.
No foreigner being called ‘guiri’ is going to take it as a compliment yet we’re expected to just take it. Digging deeper into the word guiri, I’ve confirmed that it is, indeed, not something that I’m okay with being called. Here’s why.
Last Saturday, two hundred people marched for Orgullo Loco (Crazy Pride) from Atocha to the Ministry of Health. Two sisters aged just 8 and 12, stood right at the front of the protest, holding their signs up as high as they could so that everyone could see them. Their enthusiasm was making their mum, Emma Perez Ferrant, proud.
The Spanish government has approved a new bill on reproductive rights. As well as providing safer and more discreet access to abortion and better support around pregnancy, birth and parenting, it is the clause on menstrual health that has captured the world’s attention.
A tin of sardines from 1938 has just been unearthed. It’s so perfectly preserved that we can still see its original pink paint and decorative lettering, reading, ‘Sardinas en Aceite puro de oliva español (Sardines in pure Spanish olive oil). “It’s one of our best finds,” explains Luís Antonio Ruíz Casero, the leading archaeologist from CSIC out of a team of eight, who have been excavating the site for three weeks.
“This building was completed in 1970, that’s around when my father moved his workshop in,” explains Alberto Crespo Gutiérrez, who owns a small wicker workshop in Villa de Vallecas.
Eighty-three years ago to the month, in 1939, the old Vallecas Stadium was converted into a Francoist concentration camp. In the first four days of April, which were also the first days of a dictatorship that would last 36 years, Franco’s troops crammed around 9,500 people into the old football stadium in Puente de Vallecas.
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Overnight, Storm Celia dragged a blanket of Saharan dust as fine as powdered makeup to the Spanish peninsula. Everything from snowy mountains and skyscrapers to streets and cars are covered in a layer of red dust. Look into the near distance and see a red haze (calima) settle into the horizon. This is the densest and most abundant Saharan calima in Spain’s living memory and lasted three days.
Immediately opposite Madrid’s iconic Atocha Station is a small, narrow shop selling niche products from Eastern Europe. Ucramarket is one of the most important hubs for the Ukrainian community in Madrid and, in just one week, it’s also become a collection point for donations from madrileñes destined for Ukraine.
Do you believe that migrants already living in Spain should be allowed to work, pay their taxes, access healthcare and state education? Then be a part of the Spain-wide 500,000-strong signature Campaign to regularise 500,000 migrants including 150,000 children. Between now and 23 September, Regularización Ya and associated organisations need half a million signatures, and you can help.
Many have audibly gasped when I’ve told them I’ve never been to the Prado and the classism rolls in, something I’ve experienced a lot since leaving Newcastle.
Imagina por un momento que Madrid fuera una jungla: nuestros altos edificios de ladrillo rojo serían los árboles y sus icónicos toldos verdes serían sus hojas. La M-30 sería el río –caudaloso y profundo– que fluye entre los árboles mientras sus hojas se extienden hacia el sol. Y eso es algo que bien saben los Amigos del Toldo Verde, un grupo de Facebook que nació «con el objetivo de dotar al toldo verde de la atención que merece, posicionándolo como símbolo de significación identitaria y, por ende, patrimonial».