La Escalera Karakola is a women’s occupied house in a multiethnic working class neighborhood in the center of Madrid. For six years, la Karakola has served as a convergeance point and a point of departure for feminist thought and political action both in the neighborhood and in the far-flung feminist networks in which we participate. An open and changing collective of women -- mostly young, some not so young, of various sexualities, nationalities, class and educational backgrounds -- maintain the house as a public space for women, and from this space we generate projects which extend beyond the house itself.
The Karakola has housed projects investigating the urban experience of migrant women, the transformations of work, questions of representation and sexuality, discussions about the feminist grounding for antimilitarist interventions. We have introduced the workshop ‘Tools against Racism’ into local social movements, encouraging ourselves to constantly investigate our own discourses. We have initiated an ongoing campaign against violence against women which insists upon looking at the many and complex ways in which ‘violence’ and ‘security’ are constructed. We participate in a neighborhood network proposing socially inclusive urbanistic alternatives to the ‘rehabilitation’ currently under way.
These and hundreds of other investigations, mobilizations, discussions and publications have arisen from the crucible that is the Karakola. We insist that all these apparently diverse concerns are intimately related, and we attempt to trace the lines of their relationship, articulating them within the feminist and the global resistance movements, refusing to separate the academic from the activist, the local struggle from the global context.
Attention! Under Construction: Working to recuperate a feminist social center.
Presently, la Karakola finds itself in an urgent situation. We have written a major proposal to rehabilitate the house we occupy, a 17th century bakery which is structurally in very bad condition after decades of abandonment. In a neighborhood marked by brutal real-estate speculation and a desperate lack of public spaces, the Karakola serves an irreplaceable function as an autonomous, self-managed, feminist public space, and we hope through this rehabilitation to secure its continued existance and augment its possibilities. But is an uphill battle, requiring that the city acquire the building, guarantee the cession of its use to the assembly of the Karakola in recognition of our social project, and make a major investment in restoring it. Thus our proposal represents a political, legal and financial struggle in which we need all the help and support we can get. Please contact us!
to contact us:
c/Embajadores 40, 28012 Madrid, Spain