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Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Obra Social Manual

28-Jan-17

Book translation, 2016

Related projects: Dignity / Dignidad, The Reclaiming Workshop

The Obra Social Manual, a 25-page manual of civil disobedience on the tactics of recuperating houses- a direct action how-to. The manual describes the tactics of the Obra Social campaign launched by the PAH in 2012. It offers a step-by-step guide for reinstating the social use of empty housing owned by banks, by putting them in the hands of evicted individuals and families. The Obra Social manual is a model for alternate approaches to living in times of crisis. It provides a step-by-step guide to recuperation: how to find buildings, which buildings to target, the relation between real-estate speculation and eviction, how to enter a building, and how stay once you are inside.

The Obra Social (Social Work) Manual is a translation project initiated by artist Michelle Teran and published by The Journal of Aesthetics& Protest.  The English translation accompanies Dignity / Dignidad, a feature-length film about an Obra Social building in Mósteles, Madrid, and the Reclaiming Workshop, both developed in 2016.

The original Spanish version was released by the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) in 2013.

Dignity / Dignidad

28-Jan-17

Film, 88 mins, 2016

Dignity / Dignidad is a film about strategies of recuperation in times of crisis. Recuperation, in a literal sense, means the recovery or regaining of something.

The film focuses on “La Dignidad,” a residential building in Mostoles, a suburb of Madrid. The building was constructed during the real-estate boom but never occupied after the property market collapsed following the Spanish financial crisis starting in 2008. Housing activists from Stop Desahucios (Stop Evictions) in Mostoles took over the building in June 2014, and christened it “La Dignidad.” The activists made the decision to take over the building when they realized that more and more people coming to the weekly housing assemblies were either already homeless or were about to be evicted the following week. There are fifty people, individuals, and families, currently living in “La Dignidad,” 18 are children under the ages of 10.