“No somos invisibles / We are not invisible” Declare the Streets of Tetuán (Madrid)

“No somos invisibles.”  As I was leaving Estrecho station (Tetuán district) yesterday I saw this slogan written on the walls of both sides of Bravo Murillo, the busy commercial street which also functions as a border with the neighborhoods of Berruguete, Valdeacederas, and Bellas Vistas on one side and those of Cuatro Caminos and Castillejos on the other:

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I wondered if there were more writings so I left Bravo Murillo and started walking toward the fruit store, Calle Navarra, and then crossed to the other side.  Yes, there was a number of them.  The streets  were speaking loudly and clearly:

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I don’t know who may have written them,but it seems to me that they accompany the urgent campaign Invisibles de Tetuán (The Invisible of Tetuán).  In their webpage, they explain that they seek to denounce the government’s neglect of the needs of the residents of this neighborhood, who are suffering the consequences of neoliberal policies: unemployment, evictions, poverty, budget cuts; and also to create a space for mobilization and struggle against this attack on human rights:

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Seen in this context, the eloquent interpellation of the writing on the walls to passersby reminded me of a piece by Chicano “anthropoet” Renato Rosaldo. While his text  is located in a different context, the slogans and the poem resonate, creating a map of affinities.  The poem starts like this: “We celebrate their days / eat hot dogs, love baseball, / but they say we were born to weed, / carry crates in the grey of dawn / while they sleep.  Awake they look at us without seeing.”

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“We see ourselves clearly, know ourselves / precisely, without parades and picnics. / To survive, me must.”

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“I’m one of the invisible living among the notable. / Day after day I hear doors shut, / stumble over slurs , and bump into the man / who nods yes, yes, but isn’t listening” (Renato Rosaldo. “Invisibility,” Prayer to Spider Woman, 2003).  I leave you here with more images of this writing on the walls which concerns us all:

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IMG_5798Tetuán, Madrid, 20 and 22May 2014.

 

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