Places transformed by people re-inventing everyday life
There was a time when local authorities supported, organized and funded the neighbourhood 'fiestas' in Malasana (birthplace of the movida Malasana, the Madrid scene of the late '70s and '80s). The annual celebration commemorated the 1808 citizen uprising against Nanoleon's troops stationed in Madrid. But in 2003 it came to an end when, with the excuse of the March 11 terrorist attacks, local festivities were cancelled, in both Malasana and other neighourhoods around the city Not once since then have the local authorities shown the slightest intention intention to bring them back.
Cross Border originated in New York as Lucia Miranda's final Master's project in 2010. Lucia was studying there thanks to a Fullbright scholarship and she wanted to stage Fuente Ovejuna, a theater play by Spanish playwright Lope de Vega, from the XVII century. The play was put on at the Thalia Spanish Theater in Queens, in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. So almost without intending, the show From Fuente Ovejuna to Ciudad Juarez came about. It's a play dealing with the current day femicides in Mexico from the point of departure of a classic text. It had a cast of 12 performers of different nationalities, the coproduction of the Thalia Theatre, and a crowdfunding that, thanks to family and friends, raised enough for materials and costumes.
The Solfónica is a chorus and an orchestra which emerged from what is called the "15M movement" of spring 2011, in the context of the new political and living experience unfolding with the protest camps and occupation of Madrid's Puerto del Sol. Currently there are about 200 people on its rolls, although there are around 50-60 active participants.
In May 2011, a spontaneous movement known as 15M (for the date, 15 May) emerged in Spain. The intention was to promote a more participative democracy, far removed from the reigning two-party system and the domination of banks and corporations, as well as other measures to improve the democratic system. As a result of this movement, activists who had taken part in the 15M camps and assemblies began to mobilize and create issue-related collectives. A2manos Time Bank, among many, many other initiatives, came into being out of one of these assemblies, in the Madrid neighbourhood of Malasana.
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of disorders that affect neurodevelopment. The way in which these alterations are manifested varies greatly from person to person, hence the talk of a 'spectrum' or 'set' of disorders. The disorders mainly influence communication and language, social relationships and flexibility of thought and action. In Madrid, in the last 10 years, 4000 children have been diagnosed with ASD, which affect one in 250 school age children.
The IAIA Association of Solidarity Needlework (IAIA means 'granny' in Spanish) is a non-profit organization that offers Yarn therapy (a type of occupational therapy) in nursing homes and senior centres. Our activity is aimed at people who are willing to knit, crochet, or do other needlework to make items that will later be used for charitable purposes. As a result, a network of contributors is put together of people who have time or are eager to do things to help others by creatively transmitting their personal experience and knowledge: they "knit" solidarity from different corners of Spain and from places beyond Spanish borders.
We were four people who worked on our own in different fields: communication, design, journalism, barter. We were four people who were connected in different ways and who shared a common idea: to open a place to work and let other people work, not just for themselves but also for the neighbourhood. We were four people who, when in May 2011 (that amazing May of 2011) we saw an empty, rather shabby property at number 23 Espíritu Santo Street, in the neighbourhood of Malasana in Madrid, we knew that Espíritu23 was about to come into being.
In a recent study by Ipsos, Madrid citizens deemed the worst thing to our city to be the pollution (63%) and the second worst, noise (46%); although judging by our traffic, it is hard to believe that we are aware that 80% our noise and air pollution is caused by motor vehicles.
The Biernes (with a B) collective came to life in 2010 as a result of the wish of its members (communication professionals, graphic designers and mobility managers) to intervene in a necessary process for change that, in their city, seemed destined to be frustratingly eternal: changing the widespread perception that a bicycle is unsuitable as a means of transportation for getting around Madrid.
The organization's name is no coincidence. Milhistorias (one thousand stories) tells the 1000 stories of those given a chance for employment by this social enterprise. In 2004, the non-profit RIAS Foundation created an entrepreneurship initiative based on encouraging the re-introduction of people in situations of severe social exclusion, particularly the homeless, into the workforce.
"Swing" is a type of music that began in the USA in the '20s and became popular in the '30s. At the same time there spontaneously arose dances linked to this style of music. The most well-known is the "Lindy Hop", which shares the same features as the music: high energy, vitality, and improvisation.
After WW II, Swing moved into the background. Swing dance wasn't brought back until the end of the '80s when it was imported to Europe. In Madrid the "Lindy Hop" emerged sometimes around the start of this century, but it wasn't until 2012 that it became popular for the energy release it provides.
Madrid is an ecosystem boiling with collaborative processes, community incubation, and knowledge creation and exchange. Urban spaces mutate along with these processes proving that there is an alternative to the public-private pairing: the common. On the rise are places where community takes precendence over individual, collective management over traditional hierarchies.
In the past few years, in the heat of the climate following May 15, 2011 and the occupation of Puerta del Sol, in the heart of Madrid, there is a collective awareness about recovering public space for citizen participation and management, spaces with horizontal management and communication channels between disparate actors. An example of this is El Campo de la Cebeda....
In the face of the closure of Majahonda's old movie houses, the Cines Zoco association emerged in mid-2013, with the goal of maintaining a cultural and leisure space for neighbors, friends and film lovers in the northwest of Madrid.
Located in a commercial area from which they took their name - Zoco meaning souk - the Zoco Cinemas have been showing films in their theatres since they were first built in 1979. From the beginning the space had aimed to be, as it's name suggests, a place where neighbours can frequently come together.
A "jubilar" (from the latin "iubilare": happiness, and "lar": home) is a self-managed community of senior citizens who live in an environment of their own design. It is not a new model of life, but one that began more that 30 years ago in Scandinavia and jumped to Norht America. Today there are hundreds of successful senior cohousing experiences in many different countries around the world. The conclusion reached after decades of successes and failures have permitted a complete, adaptable and transferable model to be defined.