Marinaleda

Text and Photographs by Luca Quagliato


It’s a community of farmers, and the land where they live is the result of the struggle lasted more than 10 years after the fall of Franco’s regime.

The expropriation was the only way to get the land, to farm, to build houses and give a concrete place for the political life of a community that want to manage their own work in an independent way, without relying on the capitalist system.
From farming to the canning factory, up to the distribution the agricultural, the cooperative manages the whole production process, preventing speculation from the private.
Salary is equal: 47 € per day for 6 and a half hours of work and this is also the wage for the other employees of the municipality.
If you need a house, you can build it with your own hands, and the municipality provides materials, project, ground and help in labor. Loan is 15 € per month for 90 years (just over 15,000 € in total).

The major institution inside the community life is the labor union, the Colectivo de Unidad de los Trabajadores, the main character of all the struggles over the years to defend the agricultural work.
People’s assemblies are made inside the building of the labor union, that’s the main democratic tool used to talk and discuss about issues related to job, politics and daily life in town.
The radio and television of the municipality are also used as another way to compare with the citizens.
Marinaleda still fight against the european economic crisis and against the capitalist system that does not like a socialist enclave, admired by those who come from outside, against the modern apathy that leads the young to not believe in the fight.
Marinaleda is not perfect, but it’s an experiment as concrete socialism apparatus, organized and recognized by institutions in a capitalist Europe that needs radical changes to moving forward.