This paper seeks to outline the changes that enabled the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú (Catalan for “Barcelona in Common”) to win the elections in Barcelona in 2015, a victory that signaled a rupture in the status quo of Spanish politics. Although the citizen platform Ahora Madrid (“Now Madrid”) did not gain the majority, it did receive the necessary support to have their candidate elected as mayor. Those who were closely involved in these events may fail to realize just how exceptional and unprecedented the situation was; thus, taking a step back is useful if only to clarify the conditions in Barcelona that led to this point. How could Ada Colau, an activist for housing and human rights, possibly become mayor of Barcelona?
Photo: Dmitry Antropov