Walls of Tetuán Say No To Racism and Xenophobia

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.

redesycalles 7685 rt“MSR = Nazis     Out of the neighborhood”

For many years now, its several grassroots collectives and social organizations– Centro Social La EnredaderaAsamblea Popular de TetuánBanco de Alimentos 15M TetuánInvisibles 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 demonstrationFuera 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.

redesycalles IMG_7691

redesycalles 7684 rt

“Don’t let them fool you     ANR [Acción Nacional Revolucionaria] = Nazis”

redesycalles IMG_7690 “Anti-Fascist Tetuán,” stencil by the youth collective Algarada, partially covered.

redesycalles IMG_7729“Anti-Fascist Tetuán,” stencil by Algarada.

redesycalles IMG_7717Sticker:  “Direct Action Against Racism and Fascism!!”

redesycalles IMG_7740Paste-ups: “Nazism … is an aggression against all of us.  Never Again.” “Don’t let them fool you:  No Nazis in our neighborhood! Let’s take the racist trash out of the neighborhood”

redesycalles IMG_7738Posters convoking the August 30th demonstration: “Racists: Get Out of Our Neighborhoods.  Tetuán is working class and multicultural”

redesycalles IMG_7681Graffiti affirming Tetuán’s working-class and multicultural identity: “Nationals or Migrants,  Workers Alike.”  Tetuán, 4 Sept. 2014

To see DISO Press’ gallery documenting the demonstration on August 30th,  click here.

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