Madrid, culture and crisis

Madrid has been for a long time a city connected with culture. After Franco’s dictatorship, a new cultural movement began in the city, La Movida Madreliña, changing minds and opening new ways of culture: more independent and mixed. During these years, new musicians, printers, writers and other kind of artists created a new concept of culture and therefore grow new young and modern culture centers around some quarters of the capital of Spain.

Some of them were occupied for young artist who think in the art as the art of a free expression: without control of governments and without the capitalism policies. The number of squatters has grown in the last years. One example can be founded in Chueca’s quarter.

Chueca was a quarter where chaos and art make an indivisible whole. During 70’s, this quartier was an complicated area in the center of Madrid because the drugs and prostitution. After that, gay’s movement and market changed this neighbored in a new area where art and culture are main items.

The name of the squatter Garbage, shows how an old and neglected building can become an alive space. This center located in Barbieri’s street, was before a Chinese restaurants. Since October this year, Garbage offers a lot of art activities like concerts, recital of poetry and arts exhibitions of young artist. Nowadays, Garbage still fighting against the official culture because its illegal status.

Leaving the center and walking right to the south of Madrid, across small streets, we arrive in Lavapiés.

Lavapiés it’s a multiethnic and cultural quartier. It is important to highlight the 40% of population are immigrants from Africa and Latinoamerica. This mixture of cultures makes an alternative and cheaper cultural movement. In its streets we can find some of important art centers: Centro Dramático Nacional, Teatro Valle Inclán and Tacabalera.

It is a special example. It started like a tobacco factory and when this factory closed was occupied. In 2000, the occupation finished and started a new era in this center: after some years of discussion, the center started to be self-organized but allowed by the governments. With not so much money and damaged for the economic situation, the center tries to survive and keeps some activities and other events for this multicultural area.

In the other side of the city, Madrid Río, called el pulmón verde, is the cultural center Matadero.

Madrid Rio is an ambitious and new plan of urbanism. With a lot of millions of inversion, this new area wants to be a cultural center. Therefore, with the totally support of the Madrid’s governments, Matadero is founded. The inversion in this cultural center and surroundings was 10,5 millions €. In Matadero takes place films, presentations, exhibitions, theaters, conferences, workshops. The most important of this center is the big help that governments give to them.

And the questions comes: which one of this three examples is the best one? Is the money the conditional of art?

By Alba Vila and Adolfo Rubio

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