From the square to the set: 15-M as a 'performance'

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of 15-M, the Princess of Asturias Foundation has awarded Marina Abramovic its 2021 award in the Arts category. The queen of the performance It rhymes with the most performative movement in Spanish political history, challenging the public to find the seven differences between Abramovic’s interventions and those of the activists at Puerta del Sol.

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Like any performance, 15-M was an ephemeral art of which only testimonial documents remain, but not the work itself. Whoever was not in the squares those days missed it, which raises the first paradox: a radically democratic movement that created a caste of pioneers, true aristocrats of activism with notable political careers in mayors and parliaments. They are the only reliable indicators of success fifteenth, because its unappealable failure happened in November 2011, when the PP, whose corruption was the main fuel that fueled the protest, obtained the largest absolute majority in its history.

Many opportunists joined the anti-Franco regime and convinced themselves that they had run hundreds of kilometers before the grays, but the opposite happens to 15-M: people who bored the stones in the squares with their assembly rhetoric now deny it. Since they wear the ironed shirt inside their pants, they consider the revolt naive and Adamist.

An air remained of that, some waves transmitted from the sets. Television was becoming an assembly square and politics stopped depending on the news to become a show and the axis of programming. The performance eternal, updated in various time slots, animated with screams and graphics that replaced banners and stalls.

The new and old politics merged into a corral of predictable cackles and such platitudes that they can be carried on with the volume turned off.

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