This thirtieth edition of Situated Voices addresses the housing problem via the neighbourhood collectives GRIGRI and Lavapiés, ¿dónde vas?, along with Museo Situado. With its gaze fixed on the nearby Lavapiés neighbourhood and in connection with other areas and territories, a conversation is set out from a place of urgency and around collective alternatives to the current predatory and individualistic real estate model.
In recent years, issues such as the lack of social housing, rising rent prices, the mass proliferation of holiday apartments, accelerated gentrification and rampant real estate speculation have triggered an unprecedented housing crisis. In Spain, the cycle stretches back to 1998 with the approval of the so-called “Land Use Law”, which caused the housing bubble to burst in 2008 and thus compromised the Spanish mortgage system, the effects of which still reverberate today. The first citizen initiatives that emerged, such as PAH (The Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), helped to keep many people afloat and was defined by collective strategies to halt evictions and by sparking public debate around the constitutional right to access decent housing.
Today’s imposed model is rent seeking. From 2017 to the present, new tenants’ unions and neighbourhood organisations have emerged around state territory, looking to strengthen collective power. May 2023 saw the approval of the new Law 12/2023 for the right to housing, and with the aim of regulating basic conditions that guarantee access to decent and adequate housing under affordable conditions. Yet, what are the real changes that protect the right to access decent housing? How is the legislation going to impact people’s material and living conditions? What mechanisms does the market have to avoid state regulation? How can residents organise in neighbourhoods and cities to slow down speculative trends?
This activity also offers a children’s play centre, organised by the collective Esta es una plaza, to help with childcare. A registration form for the activity is available at this link
Carme Arcarazo is a housing activist with Sindicat de Llogateres i Llogaters and a researcher at the Barcelona Institute of Urban Research (IDRA). She studied Economy and Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, and has specialised in the study of cities, both in Mexico (Urban Management, UNAM) and in Barcelona (MA in Urban Studies, UAB). Moreover, she has worked in urban laboratories in Mexico City and Sant Boi, and has been an international observer, supporting people defending land and territories under threat in southern Mexico. internacional, acompañando a personas defensoras de la tierra y el territorio amenazadas en el sur de México.
José Daniel López García is a member of the cooperative Entrepatios and a resident of Las Carolinas, the first collaborative housing building in the city of Madrid. Entrepatios is an intergenerational, eco-social, right-of-use housing cooperative which aims to put into practice other forms of city living which do not allow for real estate speculation and which consider environmental sustainability and the creation of community.
Mar M. Núñez is an artist and designer, as well as a member of the Museo Situado assembly, and a Lavapiés resident. As an artist, her concerns and practice focus on public art, which she works on through her citizen activity. Since 1998, she has participated in social movements with the aim of critically intervening in the construction of city and culture. At present, she is part of the Lavapiés, ¿dónde vas? collective, which addresses the gentrification and touristification of the Lavapiés neighbourhood.
Víctor Manuel Palomo is an activist and spokesperson for the Sindicato de Inquilinas e Inquilinos de Madrid (the Union of Madrid Tenants) and specialises in issues related to rentals and foreclosures from a right-to-housing perspective. He also works to defend residents’ right to the city in specific areas where there is also human rights violations, such as Cañada Real Galiana. Galiana.