Last month I attended the closing conference of the LIVEWHAT project. LIVEWHAT stands for “Living With Hard Times”. It is an EU-funded research project coordinated by Prof. Marco Giugni that investigates citizens’ responses to the economic crisis in nine European countries.
Besides its fascinating topic and research questions (read more about the project here), what intrigued me most was the fact that shooting a documentary film was part of the project. During the closing conference, “Citizens and the Crisis” premiered. Its three parts-of about 15 minutes each- can be viewed here; part 1 is featured below. Continue reading
Tourists on a protest tour in Spain are presented with declining public infrastructure, expensive mega-projects, and tales of government corruption.
The austerity measures imposed by European governments in response to to the sovereign debt crisis have never been popular with citizens of the most impacted countries. Responses to the policies have taken many common social movement forms from mass protests to riots to the creation of new insurgent political parties. A recent framing of the critique of austerity has focused on the disparity between perceptions of corrupt politicians amassing wealth while the general population suffers. In Spain (where even members of the royal family are currently suspected of corruption), Miguel Angel Ferris Gil and Teresa Galindo have turned from writing about political corruption and the effects of austerity as journalists to undertake another form of protest activity: guided protest tours. Continue reading
Madrid, 2033. A citizen’s movement has succeeded in creating a set of support and subsistence networks that manage many of the resources of the city, beyond the reach of the political class and financial sector. This is the scene set out in La Carta de los Comunes, a book recently published by a group of Spanish activists.[i] In order for the protests that began at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid in May, 2011 to become a revolution capable of bringing about changes like this a lot of things would have to happen but in the world of future possibilities everything is conceivable. Even, shorter range predictions, like those that will be made here, will remain in the realm of fiction, in many cases molded by the hopes and fears of those that make them.