Over the next few days I will share more of my photos and stories about this place. I present below a text I wrote in June during one of the many recent eviction threats, alongside some photos of this eccentric squat.
Pansas is a 6 or 7 story house in the middle of the old city. It is a shambolic building originally divided into a number of self-contained flats, with some floors falling through , some floors held up with old scaffolding braces, no doors anywhere (sheets separate the rooms) and an ever changing population of 15-30 people.
They fill the nearby streets and squares, queuing for museums, herded by tour guides, wandering lost in the alleyways, eating ice-cream and photographing everything. Most of the public squares in this neighbourhood have been colonised by the tables of cafes filled with foreign visitors who drink and pour over the multilingual menus, and are waited on by locals who can no longer afford to use the squares.
And now the threat has been realised. Pansas is no more.
With the loss of Pansas the city centre has become a more ordered and much less interesting place.
Goodbye Pansas, I love you.
Links & references
Minimum wage info from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country
Difficult to make a direct comparison because Spain's wage is based upon the monthly rate for a 40hr/week job and the UK uses an hourly rate but roughly: Spain's wage is €9265.60 per year to the UK's €13,927.20.
Interesting discussion of gentrifiction and the 'Barcelona model' here: http://brianholmes.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/megagentrification/