‘Observe how the festival likes that you participate. You know, foreign friend, that the foguerers appreciate you even though you don’t speak the language, nor does it matter the colour of your skin. Receive the fire’s hug, that of the gunpowder and the music. We’ve got a world of festival for you to discover, you’re in the best of hands, don’t be embarrassed and join us, you will always be an equal in this most beautiful of festivals.’
June 24, 2011. Alicante, Spain. The night of June 24th is the climax of the highly anticipated festival “Hogueras de San Juan” celebrated in Alicante, part of the Valencian community in Spain. The cultural event joins friends and family together through out the entire town to celebrate the burning of the Hogueras. Hogueras: enormous and detailed art structures built by families in different parts of Alicante are burned on the summer solstice, June 24th. Burning these structures on the longest day of the year represents cleansing the city of negativity. The hoguera ritual begins at 12:00 a.m. as gunpowder and fireworks explode inside the official hoguera of Alicante “La Tierra Prometida.” After, the other 90 hogueras in the neighborhoods begin to burn as well.
Thousands of residents in Spain have gathered to protest against government corruption, unemployment, and the current economic situation. What started as a small protest in Madrid on May 15th extended to 30,000 thousand protesters. “Los Indignados” or “The Indignant” have turned the landmark Puerta del Sol square into an urban village in which they sleep, eat, sing, and create artistic posters exposing their social beliefs. They stand against violence and drug/alcohol use during the demonstration, and have volunteers keeping the event organized. There are stations for water and food distribution, recycling, restrooms, media sharing, and even medical support. Due to the mass amount of people, many of the volunteers solely focus on cleaning the plaza frequently. “This is our time to fight for what we believe, and we’re not leaving until we get it” said one of the protesters Saturday morning. Similar demonstrations have spread in over 50 cities, including Alicante, Cadiz, and London.
Photo by Natalie Edgar. Saturday, May 21, 2011
Madrid, Spain. May 19, 2011. Protestor holds the front page article of Que Es: the publication reporting news from Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, etc. Due to amount of people that joined the ¨Spanish Revolution¨ also known as the ¨Acampada Sol¨ tension increased during the time of elections. The initial plan was for the demonstration to last until Sunday, election day. Due to their disappointment from the Conservative Party´s win, demonstrators plan to remain until at least May 29th.
The ¨15M Movement¨ that started May 15, has maintained overall organization with the help of volunteers and donations made by civilians of food, water, cleaning supplies, utensils, etc. The people show their cohesive efforts to provoke change in a non-violent, and positive way. ¨The revolucion no es botellon,¨ a phrase widely used to declare that alcohol use during the demonstration would not be appreciated or supported. Photo by Natalie Edgar. Madrid, Spain. May 19, 2011
¨They call it democracy, but it isn´t!¨ Reads the sign next to a couple sleeping in a tent during ¨Acampada Sol.¨ Protestors turned the Puerta del Sol plaza into their own ¨acampada¨ or camp site on May 15th. Demonstrators have created signs filled with messages about peace, revolution, equality, and their rights. The movement demonstrates the widespread disillusionment felt by the people of Spain due to the political situation in which many consider to be corrupt and unfair. Photo by Natalie Edgar. Madrid, Spain. May 19, 2011.
One of the protestors covers herself in a shawl due to the cool morning weather during the waking hours of ¨Acampada Sol.¨
Photo by Natalie Edgar. Madrid, Spain. May 19, 2011