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Film discussion group El poble desnonat: El triste olor de la carne [The sad smell of flesh]

18:4521:00 h
Venue: La Virreina Centre de la Imatge
La Rambla, 99
08002 Barcelona
Price: Free event

4a session: Thursday 18th October 6.45-9 pm
Joan Miquel Gual and Plataforma d’Afectats per la Hipoteca (PAH) 
[Platform for People Affected by Mortgages in Barcelona]
Film discussion group El poble desnonat 

They say that in May 1968, they were brought to the streets by boredom (of working on an assembly line, of women being shut away doing house work, of the separation of genders in student residences) and that, on 15-M [15 May 2011, famous for a mass anti-austerity demonstration], they were pushed by anxiety (of evictions, of not having enough money at the end of the month, of the obligation to go into exile for financial reasons). El triste olor de la carne [The sad smell of flesh] (Cristóbal Arteaga, 91’, 2013) is an independent Galician film about anxiety. One single sequence shot represents the hour and a half prior to an eviction, which the protagonist does his best to prevent.

Shot in Pontevedra, this film allows the audience to understand the feelings of failure felt by a man—who has a wife and children—who cannot afford to pay his mortgage. It is the drama of an outcast who feels that he “has lived beyond his means”: Alfredo Barrera, the protagonist, embodies the experience of many people who go to the PAH to explain their situation.

As is well known, the platform’s first task was therapeutic: to raise awareness among people that their totally unique experience was, actually, a reality shared by hundreds of thousands of families. “It’s not a crisis but a scam”. Their second task was to collectively organise themselves in order to turn around the situation and make the right to housing an effective one.


Joan Miquel Gual is member of the Memòria en moviment association, the La Borda housing cooperative and El poble desnonat coordinator.

Plataforma d’Afectats per la Hipoteca (PAH) [Platform for People Affected by Mortgages in Barcelona]Grass-roots organisation that fights against evictions and for the right to housing.