La Fiera en Sevilla Favorite 



Jan 1 2016


Madrid Spain

During the economic crisis of 2008, bankers in Spain took advantage of the economically disadvantaged, and the artwork La Fiera en Sevilla, or the Wild Animal in Sevilla in English, brings attention to this money-centric act from the bankers. La Fiera refers to the bankers at the time that used predatory methods in their actions to forcibly evict poor people from their houses. This artwork is based on the idea that corruption/greediness is still used in today's society to take from the poor. At first sight, this artwork seems like it is unrelated to the eviction problem. After further inspection and understanding of the economic state at the time, the information given in the exhibit clearly showcases the problems of forced eviction, the lack of basic human rights at the time, and even the patriarchal society in Spain.

Isaías Griñolo created his art exhibition to bring attention to these problems. Everything in the exhibit was taken off of the street and was used as a real representation of the items left on the street following the evictions. Griñolo does this to make sure the viewer feels like they’re witnessing a forced eviction. One of the most interesting parts of the exhibit is the “135-47.” This represents article 135 of the Spanish Constitution which is the right of the Spanish Government to issue public debt. Article 47 covers the Spanish people's “right to housing”. So the message of “135-47” is that the Spanish Government is issuing debt to the public without making sure they have a place to live. On top of this eviction problem, Griñolo also touches on the problem of the patriarchy in Spain. On the TV, the left side of the screen is all male police officers, forcibly evicting people. On the right side of the screen are all women telling their side of the story and there is footage shown of them being forcibly removed from their houses. This problem of people getting their houses legally stolen from them by the bank had to do with the economy at the time.

To give a little backstory, Spain’s housing prices grew 180% from 1996 to 2006 (Badia & Sarsenedas). The Banks were pushing for people to buy houses at an alarming rate with mortgages that buyers potentially couldn't afford as the cost of housing was so high. In 2008 there was a massive economic crisis in America which also affected Spain. This wasn't a quick crisis either as unemployment was up to 27.2% five years after the economic crisis (Badia & Sarsenedas). In Spain, you can be forcibly evicted from your property if you fail to make a mortgage payment. This means the bank assumes ownership of your property but it doesn't assume any of the debt. The bank can even sell your house even for profit, but you still legally have to pay off the debt you owe to the bank even though you receive no ownership. This is an effort from the bank owners to steal from the poor. Griñolo’s exhibit helps to expose this problem.

Posted by dylandefazio18 on

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