‘Gracias por su visita’ , a photography project and zine after my no-frills heart, emerged out of British photographer Joseph Fox and designer Lizzie Frost’s desire to create something that was simple and fun, and a way to connect with Madrid.
Just as Spain was finally starting to recover from its last financial crisis, the deepest recession we’ve ever witnessed has only just begun. Poverty, inequality and reliance on precarious work inflicted by a decade of government-imposed austerity remains all around us, and the few tourists that trickle in today – just as their pre-pandemic forefathers did – continue to feed into this.
I have three copies of Lonely Planet Spain: one from 1997, another from 2004 and my most recent one from 2014. None of them give Santoña much of a write-up in just the inch of page devoted to the small fishing town. Yet, it’s these overlooked, undocumented pockets of Spain that are the most fascinating because they really are off the beaten path. The authors of Lonely Planet may not realise this, but their guidebooks have a secret chapter: it’s what isn’t in the book that sets forth the real Spain.
Welcome to the golden age of ceramic art that took Madrid by storm, until the dictatorship and renovation works meant that all these beautiful old works of art were covered, sealed up and entombed for a future accidental renaissance which is happening right now.
It’s mid-morning by the time sunlight illuminates the grey facade of this no-frills gem in Estrecho, but the neighbours have been visiting Los Pepes since sunrise, just as they’ve done for years for their desayuno of churros and bracing café con leche, writes Juan Carlo.
Last Sunday, hundreds of market stall holders occupied the streets of the Rastro to defend their right to reopen their stalls and to preserve an ancient Madrid tradition. The same leafy street, lined with numbered buttons marking the location of each stall, was suddenly bustling again but with cries, chants and a live klezmer version of Bella Ciao.
The MNF Course for Bloggers of the Future is a series of four workshops which will equip you with the wide range of skills needed for socially conscious blogging: in-depth investigating, engaging writing, strong photography & editing, powerful social media, ethics, legalities and self-care.
Immigrant exploitation and even slavery is all around us. Immigrants pick our vegetables and keep them cheap. They take care of our elderly and give us free time. They clean our hospitals, deliver our food, build our homes and allow us to stay in them during the pandemic. Their institutional exploitation must stop, and that is exactly what Regularización Ya are here to do.
Here you have an ever-growing list of Madrid grass-roots groups campaigning locally for a better world. Whether you’re new to activism or have been campaigning passionately since you could first hold a banner, we hope this resource will be useful to you.
Remember when we were only allowed to stroll within one kilometre of our home, and when no bars, no restaurants and only a few shops were open? A beauty of being restricted to roaming nothing but the streets is that it led to one woman to documenting the open-air art gallery on her doorstep in the neighbourhood of Tetuán.