Photo: La Tabacalera

Building upon what I wrote on my previous post on the growth of cultural centers in Madrid, I would like to add a few words on the smaller, largely independent and community-driven initiatives which are becoming increasingly widespread within Madrid.

As someone increasingly interested in the history of anarchism, and the way that anarchist tendencies are expressed in modern society (usually without the “tag” of anarchism), these community-based projects are of particular interest.

The CSA (Centro Social Autogestionado – Self-organised Social Centre) La Tabacalera is one of the ones which most interests me. After almost ten years of being abandoned as a tobacco factory, and following a failed attempt by the Madrid government to establish an expensive visual arts center in this huge old brick building, in 2009 it was turned into a cultural and social centre by local associations from the district of Lavapiés. It is…

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