Day 3: Site visits Barcelona

Activity 7: Organising for Social Change: Site Visits – Day 1

Day 3: Site visits Barcelona

Activity 7: Organising for Social Change: Site Visits – Day 1

3 hours


To help us to:

  • Visit a few local Barcelona movements or organisations, to learn about their different strategies and approaches to transformative social change
  • Share our own experiences in working for social change, while also learning from others
  • Reflect individually on how our learning from these site visits can strengthen our group social change initiatives (SCIs)

Task 1
Group Travel: Heading to the Site Visits

3 hours

We will head off in smaller groups with a host guide, to those sites that have been finalised from the set of five site visit options below. See the brief overviews on the following page: 

The provisional list is the following and short overviews can be found in Activity 7: 

  • Site 1: The Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) – Platform for People Affected by Mortgages
  • Site 2:  Associació de Drets Sexuals i Reproductius – Association for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
  • Site 3: La Marea Blanca @ Hospital Clínic
  • Site 4: Radio Nikosia
  • Site 5: Oficina Vida Independent – The Office of Independent Living

Please do remember: 

  1. Have your questions that we finalised with you for your site visit/s
  2. Have your journal to take notes
  3. After checking permissions with the movement you are visiting, take photographs and / or short video clips if feasible*
  4. Be ready to share your reflections at the end of the day
  5. Don’t forget your overnight task to make a short video or voice note – see end of Activity 6
  6. *Take care with using your camera as it places a distance between you and the context, so be sensitive to this. 
Site 1: Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) – Platform for People Affected by Mortgages 

(We had an opportunity to engage PAH during the Resistance Expo as well)

The Plataforma (PAH) was set up in Barcelona in February 2009, by activists previously involved in an organisation called “V de Vivienda (H for Housing). The group protests and fights against the evicting of people from their homes. It is organised horizontally by the assembly and grew exponentially across Spain, with 220 local groups recorded by 2017.

The group organises non-violent resistance to evictions and campaigns for social rent and more aid for people unable to pay their mortgages. The PAH had successfully stopped more than 2,000 evictions by 2016.

Ada Colau was one of the founding members of the PAH, acting as its spokesperson until May 2014. Since June 2014, Colau has been a spokesperson for the citizen platform Guanyem Barcelona (Let’s Win Back Barcelona). She won a simple majority in the elections and on 13 June 2015 she became Mayor of Barcelona for Barcelona en Comú.

Site 2: Associació de Drets Sexuals i Reproductius (Association for Sexual and Reproductive Rights)

This organisation has led the campaign for family planning centres with the goal of these services being integrated into the public health network.

Site 3: La Marea Blanca @ Hospital Clínic

A unitary platform in defence of Public Health that brings together all groups that defend public health and protest against cuts and privatisation plans. We got a chance to get to know them during the Resistance Expo, we will now have an opportunity to see their work in action through a hospital visit. The identified problems with public healthcare in Spain are: The increase in health inequalities among the population (difficulty of access/co-payments/repayments/waiting lists)  and weakening of the public health system and public resources to private health companies.

Site 4: Radio Nikosia

Nikosia is a device, a collective and an association formed by people with and without medicalised itineraries of suffering, there are artists, economists, philologists, writers, poets, dietitians, professionals of doubt, psychologists, educators, anthropologists and a great etc.

From here it is claimed as a social place in which the struggle avoids forced identity exclusivisms to open to the plurality necessary in any encounter that tries to address complexity.

Nikosia is daily and above all a political territory; an assembly, a series of spaces and instances of common care and accompaniment; workshops activated in cultural centers, radio, literary, audiovisual, academic programs and interventions, etc. In general, no more and no less than situations of encounter and shared construction raised from a sensitive predisposition to the intersubjective, in the crossings of the own and the common from an honest care towards the subjectivity of the other. Here the symbolic production of each one is as important as the collective production of meanings and interactions.

Site 5: Oficina Vida Independent (The Office of Independent Living)

OVI is a non-profit entity directed and managed by people with functional diversity and the need for personal assistance linked to the Independent Living Movement. They are guided by a Human Rights and Independent Living approach, seeing these as the backbone of all action and reflection. Their mission is to promote laws, policies and resources aimed at empowering the person and enhancing their independence and self-determination. They do this through directing and managing a pilot experience of self-managed personal assistance called “The Project Towards Independent Living.” Their work is to create a model of cooperation, training and self-management based on peer support and social networks.

The Barcelona OVI was launched at the end of 2006 with the aim of promoting a project inspired by the philosophy of Independent Living in the municipality of Barcelona.

Last updated: May 2022