Thursday, September 16

Misery fire in Robert Capa’s mural in Peirocenly 10


Luis Quinde Martínez had been sleeping in a field under a tent for five months, protected from the wind by the wall of the San Carlos Borromeo pastoral center, in Entrevías. “The chalet”, as he ironically called it, has burned. Although he was not present, he believes he was provoked. People who like him badly, those who “lose the pot”, because he “has not done anything to them.” It turns out that the fire burned part of the canvas that was fixed to the wall, on which a mural is painted that represents moments of the famous image that the photographer Robert Capa took in 1936 on the other side of the lot, at number 10 of the street. Peironcely, smiling people in front of a house riddled with bullets. The place of the incident and the recent Madrid context could suggest that there was a political spirit behind it. The reality seems to point more to precariousness and misery.

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Along the wall are stacked mattresses, suitcases, everyday items. This morning, in addition to Quinde, there is a man who says his name is Sergio, sitting on a chair with one leg in a cast, while a young woman, Mariela, braids his hair. He has been sleeping here for “four days.” Lying on one of the mattresses are María and José, dozing. Whoever set the fire was, they weren’t thinking about politics, they agree. It could even have been an accident, because on the floor, next to the wall, there is a trace of charcoal. It could well be a fire that went out of control.

Luis Quinde comes from Ecuador, his grandmother was the daughter of black and white, everyone asks him about the origin of the surname, but he does not know. He survives by selling everything at the flea market on Calle de la Imagen. “I haven’t got gigs … The decadence,” he explains about his situation. There is also a woman who has been out in the open for a while. One day came, loaded with suitcases. “Her daughter threw her out of the house,” says Luis. Today she is not seen around here. After a while, everyone leaves. José, who is Nicaraguan, has time to explain that the political situation in his country is going to get complicated again in November, when there will be elections again.

The Peironcely wasteland is also Robert Capa’s square, and possibly one of the few lots bombed in the Civil War that is still as it was then. There are plans to provide the area with a museum space, a memory of the war. But in the fenced-in lot, cars sneak in to park, and incidentally make it difficult for them to homeless get used to sleeping here. Entrevías still remembers the problems that the town of Pies Negros and drug trafficking brought about in the 1980s. Chelo, a social worker for the neighborhood coordinator, who shares space with the pastoral center, says that she only knows that two sleep people next to the wall

On the other side of the fence, two neighbors gossip, both of them have been in the neighborhood for more than 50 years. They are Paquita Parra, 76, and Pilar Asensio. “They have been wearing them since before the summer. In the morning they support the mattresses and at night they knock them down,” says Paquita about those who sleep outside. She is “very left-wing” and is proud of her neighborhood, “hard-working and very dignified.” His grandfather was killed in the war. His father and uncle were in jail. Cultural intervention in the place seems like a great idea to him. Pilar, for her part, expresses a trivial xenophobia. “This neighborhood has had good stages and bad stages,” he begins. “A few years ago there were South Americans. Now, Moors; every time it improves, they send us someone,” it is dispatched. Paquita interrupts: “They are normal people and they have the same right.”

Capa’s mural, made in 2018 by students of Fine Arts from the Rey Juan Carlos University, has burned in the center, but at the ends the two parts of Durruti’s phrase survive, which frame the whole: “We carry a new world in our hearts, and that world is growing right now. ”



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