Neighbourhood memories belong to the inhabitants — their situated experiences, relationships, celebrations, conflicts and traumas — the spaces they occupy, mutual support networks and struggles to improve both their lives and their environment.
Certain neighbourhoods, displaced and marginalised by gentrification, are left behind by institutions, which omit and drive apart the memories of these territories. In breaking up collective histories and, as a result, decontextualising them to foster speculative policies, community frameworks are dispersed and the most vulnerable residents are driven out of territories.
To offset this, practices of memory create processes of social cohesion around places and landmarks that are anchored strongly in the bodies of residents and in their affections and relationships. They also produce an archive, a powerful resource for co-existence and for struggles to be upheld.
In this edition of Situated Voices dialogue takes place around the different experiences and strategies of collective memory, from the certainty that producing and caring for neighbourhood memories is essential for improving the living conditions of people that inhabit them.
La Digitalizadora de la Memoria Colectiva is a citizen platform located in Seville and made up of audiovisual, archive and IT professionals who work with collectives and individuals to preserve their audiovisual memory recorded in analogue formats.
LaFundició is a cooperative which came into being in 2006 in the Bellvitge neighbourhood (L’Hospitalet, Barcelona) and drives forward collective process of knowledge, cultural practices and forms of relationships, understood as commonly used resources and as “controversial” and situated activities. LaFundició also sets forth a critique of job insecurity in the cultural sphere and puts forward more horizontal and fairer ways of working via ongoing collaboration with different action groups and organisations.
Ana Longoni is a writer and researcher who has propelled the Southern Conceptualisms Network since it was founded. She is also the former director of the Museo Reina Sofía’s Department of Public Activities. With a PhD in the Arts from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), she specialises in the crossroads between art and politics in Argentina and Latin America from the middle of the twentieth century to the present day. She is currently part of the team of curators for the exhibition Graphic Turn. Like the Ivy on a Wall, held in the Museo Reina Sofía from 18 May to 13 October.
Ana Sánchez Mina is a researcher. From a perspective of militant commitment, she traces political experiences, reflecting on the current forms of resistance to neoliberalism, the creation and mix of open languages and spaces and connections for the commons. Her political and life interests are tied to urban resistance, experiences of self-organisation, self-management and social economy, as well as feminist struggles and gazes. Her political experience is rooted primarily in the last two decades of struggle in Madrid’s Lavapiés neighbourhood, and she is currently developing research around the memory of the El Laboratorio social centre, a self-managed endeavour which took place in Lavapiés between 1997 and 2003.
Sindicato de manteros de Madrid is an association which represents street vendors and aims to defend their rights and denounce structural racism.