“Can you imagine that the candidates for mayor of Barcelona lived on the street?” This is the starting point of the campaign launched by the Arrels Fundació, the entity that fights against homelessness and assists people who live on the streets of Barcelona.
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From the entity they want to demonstrate “how improbable is the fact that a homeless person can become a weighty political actor.” To do this, it has modified, using artificial intelligence, the posters of the four candidates currently running for mayor of Barcelona: Ernest Magarall (ERC), Ada Colau (BComú), Jaume Collboni (PSC) and Xavier Trias (Junts).
On campaign posters, candidates are portrayed as homeless along with new election slogans. “She can’t open the way in Barcelona” by Ada Colau, “He can’t present himself again in Barcelona” by Jaume Collboni, “He can’t do anything for Barcelona” by Xavier Trias or “Nobody’s Mayor” by Ernest Maragall Some of the slogans have been modified.
Even so, the entity has made it clear that the message “addresses all political formations” and demands “transformative policies to fight homelessness at the municipal level.”
“The fact of living on the street implies that you have many problems and you may not perceive the lack of rights to which you are exposed,” explains Ferran Busquets, director of the entity. Homeless people are excluded, in practice, from the right to full citizenship: they will not be able to stand as candidates for elections, make political proposals and influence society; many times, they also do not have the right to vote. “Of the 1,200 people who live on the streets in Barcelona, only 32% will be able to vote”, denounced from Arrels Fundació.