Inhabiting the Street: Creating Life: La Enredadera in Tetuán

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“La Enre is a good place to feel you’re a human being,” “La Enre allows us to dream…make it grow!”: testimonies of social and creative practices written on colorful post-it notes placed on the window of the Centro Social La Enredadera de Tetuán. Or simply La Enre (“enredadera” meaning “vine” in Castillian).  Running into these notes on the street, early in the morning, on the way to work. Small squares of paper: daily reminders:  they tell the story of a making:  a making of a life anchored in place and in social practices.  A collective story told through several voices:  one that reminds those who read it that it is possible to produce forms of life that are not functional (the term comes from Gayatri Spivak) to predatory neoliberal capitalism. It also reminds us that these forms of life are created, to a large degree, inhabiting the neighborhood, inhabiting the street, producing an interconnecting world.   “To recover public space, to remind ourselves that the streets belong to everyone and that is is worthwhile to inhabit them and get together with other neighbors … to find a place where we could keep on getting together, talking to each other, playing, watching movies, and thinking how we could transform Tetuán in a more livable place”: this is how the members of La Enredadera narrate the desire that drove them to create this Social Center in late 2008  (“Cómo empezó todo esto“).  The mutual-aid and joyful languages, practices, and doings produced on the street by the several collectives working at La Enredadera–Invisibles de Tetuán, Banco de Alimentos 15M Tetuán, Stop Desahucios, among others–produce civic life, affects, solidarity, a life that is worthwhile living.  In a post titled “Qué queremos conseguir” (loosely, what do we want to achieve) the neighbors pose the following questions: “Because if it’s not ourselves, who will do it for us? And if it’s not now when we start this, when will it be?  And if it’s not here, in our neighborhood, where we spend a good part of our life…where then?” It’s as clear as that.  I’m not aware of a better way to start a morning.

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La Enre keeps on clarifying any doubts there     We fight for a mestizo and solidary neighborhood!! may be about social struggle.

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La Enre is the world.  The world is our neigh-      La Enre is the place where practice is done. hood.                                                                         Proximity opens the way.

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La Enre is the place where we organize to            La Enredadera is my place!                                  start a Batucada.

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Full global support.                                                 I support La Enredadera! Love to all.

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This Center does great work. May it stay that way!

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Anastasio Herrero, Tetuán, Madrid, 16 October 2014.

Here’s a link to watch “Presentación de la Enredadera de Tetuán” (Enredadera de Tetuán Introduces Itself), a brief documentary (07:07) by Colectivo Manglar.

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