Archive for June, 2011

22/06/2011

la escola mediterrania- “without a school, there is no neighborhood”

by anekdotales

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Barracones- Un Barrio en Resistencia.

In preparation for the 1992 summer olympics Barcelona underwent a dramatic restructuring of the urban landscape.   Four of the city’s most marginalized districts were chosen for the construction of olympic facilities.  The olympic village or Villa Olympica, was constructed over the course of a few months, and the then abandoned port was transformed into various kilometers of artificial beachfront.  Subsequent to the Olympics, Barcelona went through a boom of real estate speculation.  Cheap credit and a growing tourist industry made land value sky-rocket. As a result those living in the neighborhoods that had originally been chosen to host the olympic facilities, now found themselves being pushed out of their communities- unable to pay increasing premiums on their housing rentals.

Between the artificial beaches and the olympic port is the neighborhood of Barceloneta.  Once it was inhabited by the city’s fisherman and their families.  Waves of immigration first from other parts of Spain and currently from all over the world have added diversity to the neighborhood’s character.  However in much the same way that other neighborhoods in the center of the city have suffered from land speculation and gentrification, Barceloneta has become prime real estate considering its proximity to the beaches. Those neighbors who haven’t already abandoned the neighborhood are subject to a constant onslaught of tourists and real estate speculators.

The impetus to change the neighborhood is strong, and one of the first things to be affected by this wave of gentrification has been the neighborhood’s public works.  More specifically, the community’s schools.  Escola Mediterranea, a primary school, has been without a permanent building for the passed 4 years.  Classes are currently being held in a temporary facility that was designed to last 2 years.   The Ajuntamento has approved the construction of the new facility but has not yet released the necessary capital.  In short, for the speculators and city planners there is little need for a primary school in a neighborhood ultimately designed to become another hub of Barcelona’s tourist industry.  New construction in the neighborhood is focused on hotels, single short term apartments, parking, etc.  As a result,  those in power have taken the public funds destined for Escola Mediterranea hostage in an attempt to tire the neighborhood’s resistance and will power.

Yet Barceloneta resists, and the families of the Escola Mediterranea are not willing to give up their neighborhood without a fight.

 

Barracones-Un barrio en Resistencia.

En preparación para las Olimpiadas de 1992, Barcelona sufrió una dramática reestructuración del paisaje urbano. Cuatro de los barrios más marginados de la ciudad fueron elegidos para la construcción de las instalaciones olímpicas. La Villa Olímpica, fue construido en el transcurso de unos meses, y luego el puerto se transformó en varios kilómetros de playa artificial. Con posterioridad a los Juegos Olímpicos, Barcelona pasó por un auge de la especulación inmobiliaria. El crédito barato y una industria turística hizo crecer el valor de la tierra de una manera exagerado. Como resultado, los que viven en los barrios que habían sido originalmente elegido para albergar las instalaciones olímpicas, ahora se vieron empujados fuera de sus comunidades-no pueden pagar las primas el aumento en el alquiler de su vivienda.

Entre las playas artificiales y el puerto olímpico es el barrio de la Barceloneta. Una vez fue habitada por los pescadores de la ciudad y sus familias. Olas de inmigración, primera de otras partes de España y en la actualidad de todo el mundo se han añadido la diversidad como caracter de la vecindad. Sin embargo, en la misma manera que otros barrios en el centro de la ciudad han sufrido de la especulación de la tierra, la Barceloneta se ha convertido en una zona inmobiliaria de alta valor teniendo en cuenta su proximidad a las playas. Los vecinos que todavía no han abandonado la zona están sujetos a un ataque constante de turistas y especuladores.

El ímpetu para cambiar la zona es fuerte, y una de las primeras cosas que se verán afectados por esta ola de gentrificación ha sido las obras públicas del barrio. Más concretamente, las escuelas de la comunidad. Escuela Mediterranea, una escuela primaria, ha estado sin un edificio permanente para el pasado 4 años.  En la actualidad se hacen las clases en un centro temporal que fue diseñado para durar dos años. El Ajuntamento ha aprobado la construcción de la nueva instalación, pero no ha emitido aún el capital necesario. En resumen, para los especuladores y los planificadores de la ciudad hay poca necesidad de una escuela primaria en un barrio que lo están convergiendo en otro centro de la industria turística Barcelones. La mayoridad de construcción nuevo en el barrio se centra en hoteles, apartamentos individuales a corto plazo, aparcamiento, etc.  Aquellos en el poder han tenido los fondos públicos destinados a la Escuela Mediterránea de rehenes en un intento de cansar la fuerza de voluntad del barrio.

Sin embargo, se resiste la Barceloneta, y las familias de la Escuela Mediterránea no están dispuestos a renunciar a su barrio sin una lucha.

 

short made by the parents’ association of la escola mediterrania.

 

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21/06/2011

american radical- the trials of norman finkelstein.

by anekdotales

a must see!

21/06/2011

shock doctrine

by anekdotales

adaptation of naomi klein’s book by the same name.  i’m still working on a half-decent review. but in the mean time check this out- it seems pertinent today with the global economic crisis.

20/06/2011

debtocracy

by anekdotales

as protests continue to rock greece and spain, and the IMF hints at possible risk of the crisis spreading further- it seems that much more real the threat of a truly failed EU. this documentary focuses on the situation in greece and its struggle with an impossible foreign debt.  through an analysis of the creation of the eurozone and comparisons with the collapse of argentina and the crisis and election of rafael correa this documentary does an effective job of explaining how the imf and other international lenders have played important roles in the drama greece currently finds itself.

20/06/2011

gaddafi: our best villain.

by anekdotales

an insightful documentary into the person who is muanmar al ghaddafi.  as one should expect he’s a much more complex and shrewd international political personality than the one dimensional representations we see in mainstream media. enjoy!

02/06/2011

nach. immortal technique. zpu. REQUIEM

by anekdotales

una condena dura.  una claridad poetica.

02/06/2011

a voice of reason from before.

by anekdotales
02/06/2011

acampada barcelona. days of resistance.

by anekdotales

after the arab spring, its beginning to look as though we’re entering the european summer.  by this i don’t mean the rebellions in the arab world are anywhere near conclusion, however their effects are already being felt and lived across the world. in the last days of the municipal electoral campaigns across spain, a spontaneous political movement sprung up and continues strong up till today. similar to what happened in tahrir square in cairo,  individuals across the country squatted their central plazas in protest of elections they felt were false, and widespread political and economic corruption.  the economic bubble burst hard in spain, and today the population is suffering with the highest rate of unemployment and underemployment across the EU- at 20%. combine this with the recent budget cutbacks in social programs such as healthcare and education, and many find themselves pushed to their absolute limits.  the general population sees the political class completely  embroiled in scandals and political grandstanding, while the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate.  the squatting of the plazas is not directed by nor has it been coopted by this political class or the country’s dominant unions. it has no set ideological line and their are no individual leaders or representatives.  the organics of this movement can losely be traced to the radical social movements from the “new” left onward. yet they are more characterized or defined by their plurality and determination to use consensus decision making structures and non violent direct action to change the current political paradigm, than by their affiliation with specific social movements.  there have been days with more than 5,ooo people partipating in a general assembly in plaza catalunya, barcelona, and others with more than 20,000 gathered in plaza del sol, madrid to show their solidarity in the face of a potential eviction.  last friday the police in barcelona brutally beat non-violent demonstrators in what the ministry of interior claimed was a “cleaning” of the plaza.  yet the violence backfired and when the police retreated, the plaza was re-squatted and the activities and workgroups continue there now.  the movement is now seeking to spread from the plazas to individual neighborhoods, and with new general assemblies popping up across the country it seems this movement could be gaining strength.

PHOTOS FROM MY WEBSITE

 

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eduardo galeano, author of The Open Veins of Latin America, reflecting on his experience in different plazas acampadas across spain.

02/06/2011

espanistan- short video about the current economic crisis in spain.

by anekdotales

heh ya’ll a friend passed this on to me the other day and i thought it was worth sharing… check it out and enjoy.

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