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Recipes for interculturality from Bilbao

15/07/2012 admin 0
Arroces del Mundo, Munduko Arrozak, is a popular fiesta being held since 2004 in San Francisco neighborhood, Bilbao (Basque country) . This barrio, apart from the center for the estuary and the railway, is four times more populated than the rest of the city; it has always been stigmatized as a ghetto, related with prostitution, considered a marginal part of the city where the immigrant live, and recently is becoming to be partially gentrified. The fiesta is the result of a patient networking that the Coordinadora de Grupos de Bilbao la Vieja, San Fraencisco y Zabala had been doing for years: this organization was born to influence in the Renewal Plan designed by the City Council, and is made of groups and individuals who had already done projects of social communication in the neighborhood. The idea of the fiesta serves both to denounce the abandon of the neighborhood, and to aim at the construction of intercultural relationships through autonomy and self-organization: the organizers of the event stress that as many people are involved, as less conflicts and incidents ocurr - with the practice, this undermines the securitarian discourse used by the authorities to increase police presence in San Francisco neighborhood.