“Queremos un país de propietarios, no de proletarios” -We want a country of proprietors, not of proletarians.
Jose Luis Arrese, First Minister of Housing of Spain, 1957*
Home, Sweet Home? is a project that consists in different artworks.
The economic neoliberalism development, along with socioeconomic processes that the current Spanish population
has beard since recent decades, has led, among others, to a deep effect in the relation between person, home
This relation, which began to transform in Spain during the dictatorship epoch with the new housing policies, evolved
during the years in which housing became an investment asset. That ultimately led to real-state bubble and land
speculation period, both supported by the government.
Thus, it gets to the current economic crisis, that it is shared the European Economic Community and American
Throughout this process, society and people´s behavior have been altered as a result of certain influences that came
from mass media, financial institutions, real state agencies, constructors and social pressures based on myths.
These myths were supported by messages like “the purchase of a house is a safe investment, it is worthwhile” or
“a house will never lose its value”. This kind of message became institutionalized by the public administrations.
As the result of this evolution, that led the population towards the generalized over-indebtedness, arose The Eviction,
a powerful symbol of the current crisis that affects the country, which implies both economic and social exclusion.
This situation is especially severe in Spain, where the housing bubble was more aggressive, compared with other
western countries. In 2008, 30-40% of the Spanish economy was represented by the building industry and gave
work to 13% of the population. Between 1997 and 2008, it built in the country more dwellings than in Germany,
Italy and France together, whose sum population represented 206,397,650 inhabitants in 2008, whilst in Spain
it was of 45,828,172 in the same year. Nowadays, there are 6 million empty dwellings and 171,000 evictions have
been executed, accordingto July 2008 to 2012 data. Furthermore, in the Spanish state, unlike the rest of European
countries and U.S, the option of lieu or dation in payment were not contemplated, so the families, despite losing their houses,
kept their debt with the bank. In some cases it is lifelong or it passes inherited to their children.
At the present time, Spain, immersed in a severe crisis and with an unemployment rate of 27%, presents
a situation in which thousands of families lose their homes and millions of dysfunctional dwellings keep looking forward
a new economic speculation.
Home, Sweet Home? takes a process of research and documentation developed through photography, video
of property visits, interviews with affected families, contact and collaboration with the Mortgage Affected Platform
(PAH) and real state agencies. As a whole, the project oriented towards an analysis of the situation generated but
financial institutions and State policies.