No Frills

Bar Brusi: The ‘Bar El Palentino’ of Barcelona

11 November 2021

heard about Bar Brusi before visiting Barcelona. It’s probably the most famous and archetypal no-frills bar in the city. It’s the ‘Bar El Palentino’ of Barcelona, except ‘Casto’ is a woman and she’s still going strong.

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.

Lost & Found

When Franco bombed Madrid with bread

5 October 2021

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…

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.

Lost & Found

Spain’s Gitano Genocide

2 August 2021

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.

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.

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