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Written by lgpend13 on Mar 21, 2016

1038 So far I have told you a lot about what has happened with the building, “El Johnny” in my earlier posts, when the squatters were occupying it, however I have mentioned little about the college residency called San Juan Evangelista. The college residency was active for about fifty years until political conflict quickly led to the building’s downfall and abandonment. Throughout this article my hope is that you will learn more about how “El Johnny” went from a lively cultural music center for students, to an abandoned building open to potential squatters. When I dug deeper into my investigation on “El Johnny”, I realized that the conflict surrounding the building truly began in 2009 and some can say it had its challenges way before. [Image source: ...

Written by Rebecca Clayman on Mar 17, 2016

1028 A black and white sticker depicts the face of a man with a question mark instead of facial features, wearing a hat with the word Standard written across the brim. Standard's tag can be found all over Rome, sometimes exhibited with text such as "Standard is my mate" and "Standard was here", posted on every lamp, street sign, and local bar's bathroom around the city. While depicting the same person, the sticker's massive quantity surpasses the feeling of an individual’s presence; instead Standard has created his own brand or logo easily recognizable to anyone who is paying attention. 

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Written by jedegu13 on Mar 17, 2016

1024 To continue my work on the expression of regional and nationalist identity in public space in the Spanish regions of País Vasco (Basque Country) and Cataluña, I recently visited San Sebastián, one of the two major cities in Basque Country. During my first few hours walking through the “Parte Vieja,” or “Old Part” of the city, the graffiti as well as the various stickers with writing in Euskera (the native language of Basque Country) immediately stood out to me. One of the stickers that I saw over and over again practically every time I turned a corner, is the one displayed in this picture above that says, “Euskal Preso ETA Iheslariak Extera.” I later even noticed several banners hanging from various balconies throughout the city that had the same emblem and slogan. 

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Written by johncollins on Mar 11, 2016

1008 Back in January I reported on the case of Raúl Capín, an independent Spanish photojournalist who is facing potential jail time after photographing police activity at a major public demonstration in February 2013. The case, which has received little attention outside of Spain (aside from an interview I did with Jeffrey McAndrew for his US-based “News and Notes” podcast), has major implications for the present and future of Spanish democracy at a time when the country continues to witness the impact of the infamous Ley Mordaza (Gag Law) that went into effect in 2015...

Written by jedegu13 on Mar 3, 2016

1013 My name is Julianne DeGuardi and I’m a junior at St Lawrence University where I am majoring in Global Studies and Spanish. This semester while I am studying abroad in Madrid I will be contributing to the “Weaving the Streets & People’s History Archive” (WSPHA) project. I am planning to travel to San Sebastian in País Vasco (Basque Country) and Barcelona in Cataluña in order to analyze how regional identity and nationalist sentiments are expressed through the use of public space in each of these cities. 

(Image at left by Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand (Flickr) [CC BY...

Written by kkcrea95 on Feb 29, 2016

This week I had the opportunity to interview one of the professors involved in our study abroad program here in Spain, Professor Dr. Aida Bueno Sarduy. Dr. Sarduy is our professor of Migrations and Diversity here in Madrid and is originally from Cuba. Having been exiled by the Cuban government in 1992 Dr. Sarduy was given refuge here in Madrid to live and pursue her studies in anthropology. Over the past 24 years she has studied immigrant populations here in Madrid and as well in Brazil.

The being said she is a very busy person and I was only able to get 20 minutes of her time outside of class in order to have a conversation about her opinion of African immigrants and how they are treated here in Spain. Here are the questions I used to guide this conversation:

What year did you immigrate to Spain and why?

Are you a citizen of Spain if so, what was...

Written by johncollins on Feb 22, 2016

943 As Europe continues to confront a series of interlocking crises - austerity cuts, undemocratic power structures, migration pressures, rising xenophobia and far-right movements, threats to free speech, climate change, just to name a few - the Plan B movement has emerged as one focus of pan-European efforts to chart a new future grounded in the struggle for social justice. This past weekend Plan B brought its progressive message of grassroots resistance to Madrid for the "Against Austerity - For a Democratic Europe" summit. While I wasn't able to attend as much of the...

Written by lgpend13 on Feb 15, 2016

941 "El Johnny": A Squatter Community in MadridThink about the power of any image. All over the world we visit museums to see art through which we can tell the story of our history. We use photographs daily to capture special moments and these days, we later post them to social media to share them with the world. Recently, I’ve noticed that images on signs that fill our streets are just as powerful and this is the idea I wish to expand on as we dive deeper into the story of “El Johnny”.

“El...

Written by johncollins on Feb 9, 2016

Acting in the tradition of culture jamming groups such as the Yes Men, who pulled off a famous 2008 fake edition of the New York Times, two American Jewish groups (Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No!) recently launched a website that brilliantly...

Written by johncollins on Feb 8, 2016

936 I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Khaldoun Samman (left), Professor of Sociology at Macalester College, for a follow-up to our 2010 conversation on rising Islamophobia. In our latest discussion, Samman offers his analysis of how the complex interactions of racist, patriarchal, and Islamophobic discourses continue to evolve in relation to ongoing stories such as the migration/refugee crisis in Europe and the...