This weekend its been snowing in Madrid.
Its up to the knees.
No-one can remember snow as deep as this in the city.
One thing caught my attention though – both articles featured photographs of people from Cañada Real.
They were burning things on the street to keep warm.
When I looked more closely I was shocked, Cañada Real is a shanty town on the southern edge of Madrid.
The news article called it the biggest shanty town in Western Europe.
I had a look on Wikipedia, which described the town as built up a road that stretches north south.
You can see the town on Google Earth.
You can even take a walk along it.
Its noticeable that the people who live there are worried that their houses are going to be destroyed by the government.
Various sources say that the place is dominated by drug gangs.
What I find curious is how Madrid’s middle class seem to pretend that Cañada Real doesn’t exist.
This is symptomatic of a tendency to pretend that poverty doesn’t exist in Madrid.
I’ve heard it said by people, who are well read, and left leaning, that Madrid doesn’t really have any poor people or districts.
In all the time that I’ve been visiting and talking to people to Madrid, some ten years plus, I’ve never heard anyone mention Cañada Real.
Its said that Spain doesn’t have a class based society in the way that England does. That’s probably true.
But it seems to me that the the absence of class consciousness in Spain helps hide the existence of poverty and shanty towns out of the minds of the middle class.
Out of sight out of mind?
Madrid to be Explored
Madrid by Season
Architecture & Street Art
- Cat and Contemporary Architecture on the Edge of Madrid
- Madrid’s Suburban Architecture
- The Bridges of Madrid Rio
- Madrid Street Art
- Spanish Election Posters in April 2019
- Feminist Street Posters in Madrid
- A Wank Page for Fans of Right-Wing Nationalist Spanish Street Signs & Associated Bits
- El Parque Victimas del Terrorismo, Boadilla, Madrid
- Depictions of England and Britain in Spain
Spanish Food Packaging