Thursday Dec 22, 2022

Asturias, Spain: Tuning into the struggles of a post-industrial region #8 Group talk: Empathic Communication

After living a week under one roof, working together at the farm, walking together in silence, sharing breakfasts, dinners and thoughts, the group talk comes quite naturally. Here we are: Chiara, Ana, Pascale, Cynthia, Sophie and Erik, sitting in a circle in the shade of the biggest building in Spain, built during the Franco regime: Universidad Laboral de Gijón. After a tour of art centre LABoral and a soothing minute of silence we look back on the days we spent together.

A talk about capitalism and workers cooperatives, about poverty and looking for a better future by walking away from the harsh rural life. About the pros and cons of the revitalisation of industrial cities as Bilbao and Aviles. 

What did we learn, what do we take home? These are complex and confusing times, but our talk ends on a positive note: united we stand, plants and humans, and however small, changes can be made. There might me no ’them’ in capitalism, this week there was definitely an ‘us’. 


LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón/Xixón:
Universidad Laboral de Gijón, Spains’s biggest building:
Interview “Asturias, a wasted agricultural paradise” between Elena Bandera and Emilio Ricco
Gijón page on regional newspaper La voz de Asturias (the voice of Asturias)
“Memorias culturales de un pasado industrial”, a film directed by University of Oviedo researchers Irene Díaz and Rubén Vega:
On radical unionism and the worker’s struggle in Spain: 

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