Visiting squat communities living in the outskirts of Barcelona

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Imagine a life that is not dependent on income nor stress to pay your monthly bills. A life that is money free, where your only daily concern is food. This idea might sound like a dream, but I discovered it in the outskirts in of Spain. 

Thanks to the political and legal system, Spain has become a squatter’s paradise. If you are able to obtain an abandoned house, change the lock, and keep it occupied for more than 48 hours, it becomes very difficult for the houseowner to evict you. This process can take up months, if not years.

In the north-west of Barcelona, I found Experimental, a mega villa in the mountains that is been occupied for 7 years now. Experimental was previously a museum, but now squatted and turned into a artistic social centre. People from all over the world are coming to this centre, to contribute to their daily activities. 

Resident doing a handstand in front of Experimental

Most of the people living here spend their days creating art, recycling materials and finding food in the dumpsters. The villa has running water, electricity and even wifi, of which none is being paid for. This seems very unrealistic, but by hard work, and years of experience, the residents of this house found creative ways to manage all the amenities to work. 

Some communities are less fortunate than others. In the southern part, I found Pirata, an anarchist community that built their houses from recycled materials they find in the trash. The houses they built in the forest, where no-one is disturbing them. This community has a more extreme way of living, and their lack of organising and hygiene makes it a great place for rats and mice to come visit. 

Resident from Pirata reading a book inside his house

On the counterpart, the residents living here don’t care about the trash surrounding them, and are very happy with their way of living. One residents says he feels like an error in the system. The government doesn’t like us, but we aren’t doing anything wrong. We want to live freely without money, and the north of Spain is fitting our needs. 

Life for free exists, and it’s happening in Barcelona. People from all over the world are gathering to the city to contribute to this way of living. Not afraid of getting kicked out by the police.

This way of living I am capturing through my new film about squat life in Catalonia. These article pictures are actually stills for this new film, which you can get a follow up on on my youtube channel.

 

Resident from Pirata feeding his weed plants on top of his shed
Resident in front of his self built house

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