Politicization through Occupation. Daily Practices and Empowerment Trajectories in a Madrid Squat

Occupation Movements
By Héloïse Nez

In Spain, the 15M movement propelled a wave of occupations from May 15, 2011, not only of squares, but also of disused premises and empty housing. The Indignados, which are thus part of the squatters’ movement, distinguished themselves from it in manifesting diverse socio-economic profiles, as well as ideological orientations and occupier trajectories. From a case study in the Carabanchel district of Madrid, this paper focuses on these new occupiers with no activist past, by linking their practices and representations of the occupation with their social, professional and political trajectories. It concerns itself with the main factors underlying their involvement by emphasizing the deterioration of their socio-economic situation and the opportunities offered by the squat in terms of problem-solving and social recognition. The analysis also relates to their daily practices, being at the origin of an empowerment process. These trajectories are coupled with a change in their perceptions of social movements, the media and the economic and political system.

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