Just after sunset on 13 August 2021, with temperatures still topping 35C, the seven delegates of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) stepped onto the monument in Madrid’s Plaza de Colón. They had just completed a historic journey from the jungles of Chiapas in Mexico to the Spanish capital to mark 500 years since the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital Technoctitlán, now Mexico City. A local crowd, who marched behind the delegates, marked their arrival with thunderous applause.
Eighty-three years ago to the week, in 1938, Franco began bombing Madrid with bread whiter than anyone had seen before. A report in the newspaper Diario de Cadiz published at the time read…
Hero-worship is perhaps the oldest religion there is. But worshipers in Madrid may look enviously upon their fellows in London and Paris. The British capital, after all, has Westminster Abbey, where the ashes of Darwin, Dickens, and innumerable dukes and duchesses are mingled.
Discover bunkers, trenches and one man’s life-long collection of wartime objects from the Jarama Valley
In February 1937, Franco’s Nationalist army launched a massive attack on Republican lines in the Jarama valley to the southeast of Madrid. Their objective was to cut off the road between Madrid and the Mediterranean port of Valencia, restricting vital supplies of food, fuel and munitions to the besieged capital.
Estefanía is the proud owner of Mil Duquelas, an anti-racist clothing brand for tops and jewellery designed by her, which she set up during lockdown. Here, she tells her own story.
Pantera, Madrid’s first anti-racist shop, is the manteros’ next step in their fight against criminalisation
Located just across the street from Plaza de Nelson Mandela, right in the heart of Lavapiés, sits the clothing store Pantera opened just last month with the mission to help integrate manterxs into the labour market.
In 1749, orders were given by King Fernando VI for “all the gitanos of the kingdom of Spain” to be exterminated as “the final solution” to a population that “wouldn’t conform”. The operation was coined the Gitano Raid and left 12,000 Roma women, men and children dead, thousands of families dispersed and the economy of the Spanish Roma community ruined.
Today, Spain approved a new Ley de memoria histórica (memory bill) to tackle the legacy of Franco. From school education to exhumations, here’s a summary.
With their blacked out windows and monochromatic signs, one of Spain’s most dangerous industries to public health does a good job of hiding in plain sight. As the proliferation of the casas de apuestas, (betting shops/gambling houses), continues, the fight to prevent growing gambling addiction in Madrid’s barrios becomes ever more urgent.
Yesterday morning, police carried out the eviction of Manuela and Jesus, and their four small children (9, 8, 2 and 1) from their Vallecas flat where they had lived for seven years. The family initially occupied the flat because they couldn’t afford to rent anywhere and, despite having two toddlers at the time, were not granted social housing. The flat they chose to occupy belongs to CaixaBank, with which the family tried to negotiate without success.
In January, Storm Filomena brought the capital to a standstill. While we were building snowmen, snowboarding through the streets and carving makeshift paths for the elderly, there was something we completely overlooked: the countryside.
Madrid was the first region in Spain to start fining people for drinking in the street. The Law on Drug Addiction and Other Addictive Disorders (the drinking bit is just a tiny part of this law and was coined the anti-botellón law) came into effect on 30 July 2002. From then on, municipal police were able to fine anyone €600 for drinking in the streets.
You always hope that the protest you’re attending will be the last. In the case of LGBTQI people, and specifically trans people, the end is no longer a distant light at the end of a very long tunnel of frustration, hate and fascism.
Street art and graffiti have long been forms of protest. When the streets speak, the voices we hear are of the struggles we bear and the memories we hold. But in Madrid, street art is increasingly being hijacked and weaponised and used as a form of colonisation by those who are more powerful.
Let’s start with an example. In 2010, Elisabet heard about a flat in a social housing block in Lavapiés that had sat empty for five years. She broke in, changed the locks, and made it her family home. With three children, now aged 14, 15 and 23, she was recently handed an eviction notice by the council telling her to move out.