Two years later: A short documentary from Barcelona’s government of change

“We must listen and talk with the people because it’s they we must obey”
Ada Colau

Learnings, limits and opportunities of two years of the government of change in the City Council of Barcelona, explained by some of its protagonists inside and outside the institution. Visit the documentary’s webpage here.

TWO YEARS LATER

This document (download as a PDF) highlights a number of themes and questions to galvanize debate after watching “Two Years Later”. The idea is to discuss the three transversal themes that appear in the documentary:

1.  MUNICIPALISM

 The approach of municipalism is that of a democratic system based on proximity, horizontality and direct democracy. The aim of decentralizing power by having neighbourhoods and communities as the starting point underscores the pragmatic and direct methods where objectives come before party interests. The main objectives are placing day-to-day practice and remedies at the centre of the political debate, construct from the bottom and opt for collective intelligence.

Possible questions

  • What examples of municipalism appear in the video?
  • Do you know any municipalist projects that inspire you to trust institutional politics? If so, which are they and why?
  • Should a municipalist movement go beyond its city? If you agree, how should it and why?

2.  SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE INSTITUTIONS           

A large number of the people in Barcelona En Comú come from social movements. This has brought about  a new relationship with the powers, with the institutions and with these activist spheres. With an aim to readjust these relationships, the idea is that of an “open” Town Hall, an approachable organization and active heeding of challenges by a mobilized citizenship.

Possible questions

  • Is it possible to defend the same from within the institutions as from without?
  • How should an activist behave before an apparently like-minded government?
  • How can governments  for change avoid being victims  of the expectations they themselves have brought about?

3.  FEMINIZING POLITICS

The aim of feminizing politics is to break away from male and patriarchal logic, which impose certain forms of relationships and order. It does, of course, go way beyond the essential requirement of including women in public office and work teams and the proposal involves changes in practice and policy and placing people and their concerns at the centre of institutional policy.

Possible questions

  •  How is this attempt at feminizing politics apparent in the video?
  • What difficulties have there been? What examples of feminist policies are shown in the video?
  • How would we react to a politician if they publicly discussed their doubts, fears or contradictions? Would it be the same in the case of a man and in that of a woman?
  • How would you adopt “a feminist focus to all areas of government”?

 

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