The 2011 movements occupying squares denoted a key moment in the collective response to inequalities and the precariousness of the capitalist system. These multiple and transversal forms of resistance are registered within a series of interconnected global uprisings that challenged neoliberal hegemony and introduced a logic of the commons in the fight for social restructuring. Camps in squares became a metaphor for community, a new way to occupy public space that materialised in the carnival aesthetic of anti-globalisation.
The length of the 15M movement can be determined inside the period between 2011 and 2015, when countless mobilisations kicked in against the management of the 2008 crisis, cranking up on 15 May 2011 with the day of protests organised by the platform Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now). The ensuing occupation of squares saw the concept of crowds take on a new dimension, evolving into a connected, global mass that shaped a performative space of negotiation associated with the common good. The square also became a place for aesthetic production, with large collective collages articulated through slogans, posters, drawings, poems and DIY banners, an exercise in community creativity in which broad layers of the population participated.
The selection of materials in this room chiefly centres around Acampada Sol, the first of Spain’s tent cities which occupied Madrid’s Puerta del Sol from 15 May to 12 June 2011. Chosen alongside them are elements which stem from the social struggles undertaken after the camp-out and related to the vindication of public services, the right to housing and opposition to the austerity measures imposed by Spanish and European governments. The materials, selected by researcher Julia Ramírez Blanco, come from Archivo 15M, a self-managed work group that surfaced from the camp and, since 2011, has undertaken conservation and cataloguing work in different social centres, placing it in the present day in Espacio 3Peces3.
In recent years, with the 15M campaign realised, feminisms, also understood as global phenomena, have taken centre stage in the biggest citizen demonstrations in Spain. A turning point for these mass, intergenerational episodes came with the feminist strike of 8 March 2018, a historic day that has situated feminism as a social, economic and political movement challenging the totality of the system, and with a major capacity for mobilisation as an alternative political project.
For this room, the 8M Commission, represented by researcher Sara Naila, has selected a series of materials focused on the present of feminisms: transfeminist mobilisations by Colectivo Ayllu / Migrantes Transgresorxs, Diego del Pozo’s diagram of drawings on forty years of LGTBIQ movements in Spain, and the Container of feminisms by Anxela Caramés, Carme Nogueira and Uqui Permui recover, document and grant visibility to stories from public-space protest movements and struggles for sexual liberation, incorporating anonymous voices and bodies, and residual, marginal, improvised, decentred, heterogenous and open experiences.