On the 20th of April 2012 the Spanish government passed a law that stopped the provision of free healthcare to immigrants without documents, thus excluding about 800,000 people in Spain from free access to a doctor. In response to this, a group of activists in the Raval, a neighbourhood in Barcelona where over 40% of the residents are immigrants, created a group called Espacio del Inmigrante to provide free health consultations and support in accessing hospital care when it is needed. See more about their amazing work in this field here: http://roarmag.org/2013/12/espacio-inmigrante-barcelona/
In the Summer of 2014 they squatted a space to enable them to expand their provision in the neighbourhood. When I went down there in August searching of the people displaced by the eviction of Mount Zion I found a number of familiar faces in an amazing social hub where all sorts of people and provisions are brought together.
The space provides a number of basic amenities: cooking facilities; water; electricity to charge your phone, or laptop; wifi; a space to sit and eat together; and it is a fine place to spend a day engaged in gentle discussion with whoever drops by. A lot of the users of this space live in squatted apartments in the streets near by, and a real sense of community has evolved in this corner of the city.
As well as healthcare support and basic living facilities, the Espacio Del Inmigrante also offers language classes and acts as a gallery exhibiting art made by the users of the space. They have also recently started providing drop-in sessions giving free legal advice and free access to psychological support for people suffering from the problems of homesickness, disempowerment and racist abuse.
_Lisa shares her thoughts on art, life and the nature of everything.
Copyright © 2013 Lisa Furness
Photography by Lisa Furness is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.