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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Madrid, Madrid, Madrid… a fascinating city to live in, but only if you can afford to do so. If you weren’t born here, it’s difficult to deal with the stark contrast between the rich and the poor. The human mind cannot fathom such a contrast in the same place.
Having access to green space reduces depression by up to 40%, and reduces the feeling of worthlessness by up to 50%, according to a study by five doctors at the University of Pennsylvania. For those living below the poverty line, the improvement in mental health is proven to be even more profound.
On Sunday, 2 May, the night before the Madrid election, a group of activists broke into a derelict hotel in the centre of Madrid. Upon entering, they found 112 abandoned en-suite bedrooms, a decaying Andalusian patio, three large salons with a hundred wooden chairs, a sturdy stainless steel kitchen and an overall perfect space to build the youngest generation of social project La Ingobernable (The Ungovernable).
I know Serigne Mbaye from the grassroots activism circuit in Lavapiés, where he regularly frontlines at protests with powerful anti-racism speeches. It’s no surprise to those who know him that he’s now running for election in the Madrid Regional Government with Unidas Podemos, where he’s set to become one of Spain’s first Black members of parliament, and achieve many other firsts too.
Justo frente al museo, varios artistas locales instalan sus puestos para exhibir y vender sus obras. Entre ellos se encuentra Antonio Castor, ya preparado para otra jornada de trabajo. Vistiendo un saco bordó y acompañado de su libro y sus pinturas, observa expectante el pasar de los transeúntes.
Just 15% of photojournalists are women. That’s the distribution you can see in the photo above. At every protest I attend in Madrid, I’m one of very few women holding the camera.
Let’s take a look at Colonia de los Olivos (Colony of Olive Trees), which was built hastily in 1947 to accommodate a post-war migration boom in Madrid. Around 1,000 people have called these temporary blocks their home until their phased demolition more than half a century later, which is still not complete.