Spain is cool, they say so on TV. Spain has sun, beaches, tapas, flamenco. Spain has FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Spain are world champions in soccer, basketball, tennis and MotoGP. Spain discovered America, invented the Spanish tortilla, the mop and Chupa-Chups. Spain is fun, people have a ball here. That’s why the “guiris” come: party, good times, happiness. That’s the Spain brand. That’s how it’s shown in ads and newspapers, that’s why our politicians say: “yu ar a uina” They may be right, but they’re forgetting something: Spaniards are also world champions in unemployment. We’ve just smashed the record of six million unemployed, and counting. That’s something that really makes us special, numero uno, true World Champions. And that deserves an ad of its own.
“Surround Congress”: as soon as we’d heard this, in our minds we were there. To make the Government resign and demand they start a new constituent process seemed like a great idea. We immediately got to work.
The first thing we did was to design a poster of coloured dots around the phrase: “On September 25 we will surround Congress until they resign. Period.” We printed thousands of them and pasted them everywhere. Then, when enough people had heard of the action, we went out into the street with our cameras to create the Photocall 25S.
This was a large collection of photographs where the coloured dots translated into people showing their personal reasons for wanting to surround Congress. These photographs, distributed massively online, caught the press’ attention for weeks.
Almost all of our work was now done, we were just missing the finishing touch. That’s when we came up with the Discongreso.
A few days before 25S the Government announced that more than 2000 police would be protecting the Congress, and that it would be impossible to reach our goal. At least on land. So we converted the coloured dots into frisbees (discos voladores in Spanish). To try and reach it by air.
Through social networks we asked people to get a frisbee and write on it their proposals to improve democracy. When September 25 came round, hundreds of people showed up with their frisbees ready to launch at Congress. It was unbelievable. Children, the elderly, the young, all kinds of people. They had written on their frisbees things like: “People first”, “Ban debts”, and “No banker will ever govern another country”.
Launching them was an amazing experience. Seeing those frisbees flying over the police, headed for the Congress, was the most aposite metaphor of the situation which Spain finds itself in right now, one where, effectively democracy is up in the air. «Democracy is in the air everywhere i look around…»
Party at the Unemployment Office
The crisis is here, let the party begin!
April 30, 2009. At first the crisis was just a state of being, a kind of social sadness that paralyzed everything. To break this atmosphere we couldn’t think of anything better than to throw a party. The first thing you need for a party is a good location, so we set out to find a place where social sadness and fear were extremely present. It didn’t take us long to find one: an unemployment office. We turned up there one morning with our sound system. It was amazing. Less than five minutes of dancing and messing around were enough to put a smile on those long faces.
The video of the party became very famous, far more so than we ever imagined. Today it has over a million hits and has been an inspiration for many other celebrations which, since then, have been held at employment offices throughout the country.