In the south of Spain, the street is the collective living room. Vibrant sidewalk cafes are interspersed between configurations of two to five lawn chairs where neighbors come together to chat over the day’s events late into the night. In mid-June the weather peaks well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the smells of fresh seafood waft from kitchens and restaurants as the seasonably late dining hour approaches.
The scene is archetypally Spanish, particularly for the Andalusian region to the country’s south, where life is lived more in public than in private, when given half a chance.
Specifically, this imagery above describes the town of Marinaleda, which would be indistinguishable from its local counterparts in the Sierra Sur mountain range, were it not for a few tell-tale signs. Maybe it’s the street names (Ernesto Che Guevara, Solidarity and Salvador Allende Plaza, to name a few); maybe it’s the graffiti (hand-drawn hammers and sickles sit happily alongside circle As, oblivious to the differences the two ideologies have shared, even in the country’s recent past); maybe it’s the two-story-high portrait of Che emblazoned on the outer wall of the sports stadium.