A brief summary of the situation of the house.

February, 2003

 

  For over 2 years we had been discussing the possibility of either

  doing another work camp (the first work camp)or else trying,

by some other means, to intervene in the deteriorization of the house.

 

  Then over a year ago the facade of the house moved a little bit, and we

  called the firemen to be sure that it wasn't going to fall down and crush

  passersby.  They were surprisingly nice, made a very positive report about

our care of the building, and that was that.

 

  Then last summer we discovered that every visit by the firemen must be

  followed by a technical inspection by the Dept. of Urban Management.  We

  were sure that they would come and declare the house a ruin, evict us, and

  tear down the house, and that that would be the end...

 

  But we organized our trusty team of arquitects, our marvelous lawyer and all our

  supporters and friends and when the inspector came we overwhelmed him.

  We convinced him that it would be possible to tear down the ruined part

  at the back of the house (where the old ovens were, etc) and preserve the

  front part. The technicians said that the work done during the work-camp

  (on the roof and the rafters) had preserved the house; without it it would

  have fallen down long ago.

 

  Then for the first time in the history of the occupation movement in

  Spain, the technicians invited us to a meeting at the Dept. of Urban

  Management and we came to the agreement that they would come in, do the

  work they proposed, but that WE would maintain the key and the use of the

  house.

 

  For the last several months the house has been full of dust and

  construction.  Now finally the work is done, and its amazing: the entire

  ruined back part has been transformed into a sunny patio, and the front

  part of the house has been thoroughly supported by big wooden pillars.

  The owner still hasn't made any noise, and all is well.

 

  BUT, propping up a house is not the same as rehabilitating it -- the roof

  still leaks, the walls are humid, the pigeons come and go-- and we have

  decided to take a risky leap.  Instead of being happy with the works done

  and continuing our project in the house until (inevitably, eventually) they kick us

  out, we have written an ambitious and complete proposal to the city

  government that they recognize the social value of the feminist social center

La Karakola has

 maintained for six years, and that they legalize

  the occupation of the house and rehabilitate the building.

 

  So now suddenly we find ourselves talking to politicians, to the press, to

  everyone we can, trying to get support for this rather wild dream.  We'll

  see what happens.  It is thrilling and difficult to learn to navigate these unfamiliar

political spaces; promote our project without  either allowing it to be transformed

and politically neutralized or losing our own capacity for self-criticism and introspection.

 

  Meanwhile, there is a sudden burst of activity within the house: several

  seminars, work-groups, film-cycles, etc. (calendar)

 

  As part of the presentation of this project we are organizing all the

  materials produced by the Karakola in the 6years of its existance:

  pictures, videos, texts, etc.  Some of us are editing a video, using the

  materials from the work-camp, actions, parties, and more.  We are also trying to put

  together reflections and memories of the Karakola from all the people who

  have participated in it over the years. We would love to hear from you

 (contact us): reflections on the project, ideas for its continuation, etc. We would also love it if you could spread the word about the Karakola's current project; we will need all the support we can get.

 

We will keep you informed as events unfold…

 

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