Walls inscribed with graffiti, notes Silvia Nardi, are “places that reflect and register the memory of a given society”: they allow to gauge the collective mood in a particular historical moment and to communicate the social knowledge and practices shared by a community (“Las paredes de la memoria”, 2006, 5-6). A few days ago, I was walking down Tetuán after a month away from Madrid, and the graffiti and activist paste-ups on the walls made, and make, visible the standing by and defense of a long-standing social identity. Tetuán has been, since its beginnings, a neighborhood of workers and immigrants.
For many years now, its several grassroots collectives and social organizations– Centro Social La Enredadera, Asamblea Popular de Tetuán, Banco de Alimentos 15M Tetuán, Invisibles de Tetuán, Yo Sí Sanidad Universal Tetuán, among others–have been weaving networks of solidarity, creativity, and mutual aid among the neighbors, regardless of national origin. The graffiti and paste-ups I was able to see some days ago on the walls of Tetuán reflect and register the neighbors’ and collectives’ open repudiation of the racism and xenophobia that informs the actions of a far-right group, associated with the Movimiento Social Republicano (MSR), that has recently arrived to the neighborhood. The walls of Tetuán echo the neighbors’ loud and clear response guiding the demonstration “Fuera racistas de nuestros barrios” (“Racists: Get Out of Our Neighborhoods”) held on August 30th: Tetuán conceives of itself as an anti-fascist and anti-racist district.
“Don’t let them fool you ANR [Acción Nacional Revolucionaria] = Nazis”
“Anti-Fascist Tetuán,” stencil by the youth collective Algarada, partially covered.
To see DISO Press’ gallery documenting the demonstration on August 30th, click here.