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Spotlight

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.

Spotlight

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.”

Spotlight

Cities across Spain gather over the largest mass loss of life the Spanish border has ever seen

27 June 2022

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.

Spotlight

‘The Kiss’: a secret, split-second moment that captured Madrid’s heart

14 June 2022

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.

Spotlight

Regularización Ya’s 500,000-signature campaign to regularise 500,000 migrants in Spain

21 February 2022

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.

Spotlight

Portrait of an elderly couple facing eviction at sunrise

11 January 2022

Jose (or Pepe, as he’s affectionately known), 78, tells me about when he met María, 82. “I used to work in a bar and that’s where I met María. She’d come in to see me and we chatted for a few months. Fifty-five years later, here we are, being evicted from the house we’ve called home ever since we got married.”

Spotlight

“We were never conquered”: Mexico’s Indigenous Zapatista movement visits Madrid

11 October 2021

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.

Spotlight

UNESCO’s new World Heritage Site in Madrid was once a human zoo

18 August 2021

On an April morning in 1887 in Madrid’s Retiro Park, Queen María Cristina declared the Exhibition of Philippines open for business. Over the course of six months, tens of thousands of Spaniards would have the chance to visit one of the farthest corners of the Spanish Empire – and even meet some of its people – without ever having to leave the country.

Spotlight

Madrid’s youth fight back against the gambling epidemic invading our barrios

16 July 2021

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.

Spotlight

Evictions are state violence and institutional theft

15 July 2021

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.

Spotlight

The forgotten victims of Storm Filomena

13 July 2021

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.

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