Spain’s 15M: The passion of rebellion

We are all dead, and we spoiled the world before we died. There is nothing left. Nothing but dreams. 

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

Spain’s 15M was a dream, it was the feeling that the world could be changed, it was the spaces and the times of assemblies, in which new worlds were created and imagined by an untameable many, the many who awoke to their voices and bodies; it was enthusiastic friendship, joy, and dedicated work.

It is not from melancholy nostalgia or illusion that these words are written, but from the experience – past, yes, but still engraved on the flesh – of gathering and creating autonomously.

There were many 15Ms and they would move often in very different directions. Some of these would die, others would become unrecognisable – e.g. Podemos -, but what still remains, and not only in memory, is the awareness (cognitive, affective, physical) that autonomy is a permanent possibility.

Although I expected more from 15-M, I believe that its legacy is not negligible, since it has allowed to reopen debates that were closed and in that sense it has invited a questioning of the nature of the system – capitalism, exploitation, alienation, surplus value, patriarchal society, imperial wars, ecological crisis, collapse – while giving limited prominence to disputes relating to the regime that are of such interest to, for example, Podemos. It has also given an undeniable impulse to the construction of autonomous, self-managed, de-commodified and, hopefully, de-patriarchalised spaces. I am sure that, far from elections, institutions and separations, new 15-Ms will arrive.

Carlos Taibo (Contexto y acción, 15/05/2021)

In this sense, the event does not die (contrary to the words – desire? – of Íñigo Galván of the political party, Más País, yet another “political” mutation of 15M), but continues as a “moment” in which History stopped, breaking through linear time as an “eternity” which may always be lived anew. (Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History)

We share below film-interventions in the 15M, along with links to reflections on the event, in spanish. The voices are plural, they offer no single or closed view of the event. We share them so that others may see in it a possible present.

What is the point of remembering 15M if it is not to disorder the present as it did?

Amador Fernández-Savater, Lobo Suelto!

In May of 2011, the film maker Basilio Marín Patino descended into the streets at the age of 80 to live the dream. In these moments, something incredible happened: the eruption of politics understood as the self-management of the commons, of life, through thousands of assemblies. Patino, without interviews, spokespersons, “experts” perhaps captured the passion of 15M like no other.

Year: 2012
Director: Basilio Martín Patino
Music: Amancio Prada
Photography: Alfonso Parra
Producer: La Linterna Mágica

Articles/reflections from … Kaos en la red; El salto diario; Jacobin América Latina;

The 15Mpedia website is rich in information touching on 15M and more. And Madrid continues with 15M inspired newspaper – Madrid en acción – and radio – Ágora sol radio -, which are available online.

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