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Mame Mbaye, his disputed cause of death and his anti-racism legacy explained

16 March 2021

Mame Mbaye was a Senegalese migrant who arrived in Madrid in 2006, and three years ago yesterday he died. There are two very different versions of what happened: one reported by the police and the other by his friends. The police version stands, but the 12 years leading up to his death match up far more with the account of his friends, that what killed Mame Mbaye was institutional racism.

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The Riders’ Law explained

15 February 2021

I met Ángel (not his real name) waiting in the dinner queue of Vecinas de Lavapies food bank last summer. It would cost him at least one hour’s work to feed himself, and another job to get the metro back to his sister’s house where he was staying.

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Storm Filomena

9 February 2021

Now that the last remaining piles of snow have finally melted away, let’s reflect on a fortnight of Filomena’s presence in this city. With zero Council preparations and unprecedented snowfall, how did Filomena’s force unfold and take Madrid from its most beautiful to a disaster zone?

No Frills

“I’m tired”: our naïve nostalgia for Madrid’s no-frills bars

11 January 2021

I’m proud to say that I grew up frequenting the neighbourhood bars of La Latina with my dad, and I have fond memories of their no-frills charm. But it took me many years living abroad in Denmark to appreciate the cultural richness of my barrio, and it came mixed with nostalgia and grief at the places that had closed.

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Snow in the Cañada

8 January 2021

As Madrid plunges to -11°C this week and sees historic snowfall that is predicted to be the most snow this century will ever have, children of the Cañada Real Sector 6 forget their traumas for a moment and enjoy the magic of their world in white.

Living Museums

The House of Suitcases

4 December 2020

“Is it busy out there?” asks Isabelle, owner of La Casa de Maletas in El Rastro. That day was the first day of the Rastro for eight months, since the pandemic shut Europe’s largest open-air flea market down in the second week of March.