Update on activities in la Eskalera Karakola

June 2006



In September 2005 we began construction work on the first of the two shop-front commercial spaces we had been ceded by the city government.  Our initial plan to do an intensive 3 month work-camp proved unrealistic and the construction extended from September to March, with work being done by small teams of participants in the Karakola and other volunteers, coordinated by a monthly rotation of fore-women.  Along the way, we learned plumbing, masonry, electricity, welding, flooring, tilingŠand by April had converted a bare cavern of bricks into a bright and appealing work-space, accruing plenty of debts along the way.


We held an Œend of construction¹ party to inaugurate the space at the end of April and since that time have been gradually filling in the space itself: moving and setting up the archive of papers and books, purchasing and installing computer equipment, etc.  The space is divided into one main meeting/activity room, one small meeting/archive room, a soundproofed audio-visual studio and a bathroom.  Though the projects operating in this space are still taking shape, it is already getting a lively use: in the last weeks we inaugurated ŒTodas a Cien: Agency of Precarious Affairs,¹ a center for self-organizing against poverty, vulnerability and precariousness which emerged out of the activist-research project Precarias a la Deriva, and have held a cycle of seven self-training workshops intended to provide us with resources for that agency.  Associated with the agency are a number of agit-prop type projects: a radio-novela, ³Vivir a full,² which plays with the genre of melodrama in order to approach the daily life situations and conflicts which affect us, and the photo/video adventures of Azien, the precarious superheroine who accompanies us in actions and other public interventions. 


Other projects currently getting started in the Karakola include: ŒLas Bonitas¹, a feminist theatre troupe; ŒEnvideas¹, a video archive and ­hopefully soon ­ production and distribution point; ŒSababia,¹a migrant youth organization working against discrimination in schools; ŒTransSisterRadio,¹ a radio and DJ collective, as well as various short-term projects or interventions such as a recent presentation on Queeruption 9 in Tel Aviv, a seminar with the feminist sociologist Ruth Mestre,  the organization of the Œgender¹ section of the annual ŒSeven Days of Social Struggle¹, presentations of the ŒUnderground Railroad¹ network formed in the European caravan to Ceuta, etc.