6 Facts about our contribution in 2022 to the responsible tours in Madrid

responsible tours madrid spain

Do you think that there exists room for improvement in our society? What actions do you take in order to create a better world? These are some questions that we asked ourselves before launching Cooltourspain’s responsible tours in Madrid. We’d love you to join the cause and visit the city from an alternative point of view.

In that sense, you should know that we use social street art and political graffiti to speak up about the problems that exist in the XXI century. Moreover, we analyze the message that artists created on the streets, with out without permission. As a matter of fact, we’d like to invite you to an original and sustainble activity in the Spanish capital city.

Read carefully as you will compare the data we offer you within this article, with the issues that affect your/our country of origin. Are they the same? Did we miss anything?

What are the global warnings that we feature during the responsible tours in Madrid?

First of all, we’d like to mention that the examples that we are about to show you, affect all of us. It’s not fair to move your sight to another place, where an injustice is being committed. Our responsible tours in Madrid focus on the world’s change. It’s necessary to act and protest/demand for your rights.

Injustice, lack of visibility and extremisms are spreading fast and we need to take action. What would you do if your family was tortured, assassinated or abused (in any way)? There is a group of street artists who painted unfair situations, and we will discuss about the meaning. We’ll pretend to turn into mind changers thanks to their artworks.

Whether you visit us from the United States, Germany or Australia, the following points will deal about issues that affect us globally. To us, it’s not important if you like people from one sex or another, both, or if you believe in no God at all. What really matters is that you repect others, and treat them equally.

1.- Equity and social justice

feminist and responsible tours in madrid
Artwork by Mil Duquelas. Picture: Garabata

It’s a fact that depending on the place where you were born, you’ll receive more or less opportunities in life. For instance, if might not be the same living in Haiti, Sudan or Liberia, that doing it in Spain, France or Canada, if you belong to a low socio-economic group. In that sense, our responsible tours in Madrid will feature a critical thinking attitude.

We would like to believe that in this world, your skin color, religion or sex beliefs were not that important, but we see everyday on television cases of people who have been unequally treated because of those features. Is that the kinf of world where you would like to live in?

Therefore, we need to act. Have you ever thought about performing ‘artivism’? You’ll just need an old xray film and a box cutter. Think about a social message to type in and cut it. Then, buy some spray cans of different colors to start spreading your slogans on the streets. How many layers did you include in the stencil?

2-. Extreme nationalisms

street art in chueca
The artwork created by Oncps welcomes you Chueca, the most famous LGTBIQ+ district in Madrid

Despite the democracy shows people’s politic interests, the world is observing hate acts. In this sense, our responsible tours in Madrid will talk about the social groups who suffer the most. That’s the LGTBIQ+ and migrants. How is it possible that they are still prosecuted as criminals in certain places?

On one hand, there were 485 xenofobic attacks registered by the Interior Ministy in Spain last 2021. This means that people may threaten you because of your country of origin. Is that fair? Have you ever thought about people who escape from their countries because of war, sex abuse or hunger?

Similarly, we found in Spain 277 reported crimes because of one’s sex beliefs. That was last 2020, but we’re still fighting for our rights. Not to mention what people suffer in countries were you could end up in jail if you were gay, lesbian or trans.

3-. Do the responsible tours in Madrid focus on empowerment?

mural artwork created by a female artist called Sara Fratini
Artwork created by Sara Fratini, for CALLE Lavapies festival 2020

Yes, of course they do. All the responsible tours in Madrid offered by Cooltourspain talk about this fact at the experiences’ beginning. We actually ask the following question before talking about the local street art panorama.

Could you recall the name of any given famous artists along the history?

Question asked by Javier at the street art tours in Madrid

Common answers are Dalí, Picasso, Velázquez, Goya, Miró… However, how many people answered with a woman’s name? Not that many, to be honest with you. Consequently, does that mean that there were no female artists in the past?

They existed, but didn’t receive enough exposure as to become famous. Some of these women even signed their artworks as men, in order to be taken into consideration. The society has moved forward and we must empower women’s work. Does the street art and graffiti festivals promote women’s empowerment?

Where are the local community spots that we visit along the responsible tours in Madrid?

The services offered by Cooltourspain’s team members usually take around 2 hours. However, if you participate cycling and not walking, it may take 2.5 hours. Both of them, include the explanation of several community related spots. Moreover, our responsible tours in Madrid will show you what are the local projects doing around Lavapies district.

We support the term ‘proximity trade’. That’s the reason why we’ll suggest you visiting traditional food markets, instead of big chanes. We’ll also showcase urban gardens, which people turned from abandoned lots into vibrant and full of life spots.

Lastly, you should know that some neighbors may find annoying if we’d stop by their house door, blocking the entrance. We’re proud to say that we avoid that situation. We’re totally aware of the gentrification. If we were on their shoes, we wouldn’t like it either. Don’t you agree?

4-. Political corruption and bankrupcy

responsible tours in Madrid city center
‘Street spectaculum’ by MAZ. Picture by Madrid Street Art Project

One of the many problems that Spain suffers is the lack of ethics, among the ones on power. Some of them, even corrupts. For your information, our responsible tours in Madrid also talk about this pandemic issue, making reference to a former time bank called La Canica, in Calle Embajadores. Have you ever heard about what peple do in a bank of time? Listen carefully!

After bankia’s eviction, people occupied the ground floor of a building in this city centered street. They started exchanging their skills. The idea of this social bank is that you do not pay for people’s skills with money, but with your own time. It’s a barter system. Similar to what our ancestors did in the past. Someone’s knowledge, in exchange for somebody else’s.

Graffiti writers even painted a symbolic expression, which Spanish translation would be “who watches the watchmen?”. In other words, “who controls the ones who are in charge?” Obviously, referring to the political system.

5-. Commited with new forms of urban planning and landscaping

Even our partner Emilio focuses on sustainability within the arquitecture field. He leads responsible tours in Madrid that will take you through different city centered rooftops. From these heights, you’ll be able to check what is the Spanish capital city doing to give more space to people and less to vehicles that pollute.

We consider that there is much more to do when talking about urban landscaping. For instance, there are not enough safe roads which are exclusively for bikes. Despite our thoughts, Madrid city council has committed to expand the public bike network to neighborhoods such as Hortaleza, by 2023.

6-. Responsible tours in Madrid that fight against the gentrification process

responsible tours in Madrid talking about gentrification
‘Your street art is making my rent increise its price’

Those guests who join our responsible tours in Madrid will also listen about the consequences and effects that the gentrification process may produce in local communities. Not only in Spain, but also other European and worldwide countries are suffering it. Because of it, young adults and low-income families are forced to move somewhere else.

The expensive rental pricing makes flats and appartments more appealing to tourists, travellers and investors. They’re the ones who are moving into these areas. Did you know that some neighbors hang yellow t-shirts with the word SOS Lavapies/Malasaña printed on them in their balconies? That’s their way to protest! Isn’t that clear that they are fed up with this situation?

We’d like to invite to our tours those who talk bad things about our project. Some of them, even shouting and yelling to our guests. They may not know what kind of tours we do in the neighborhood. They should check out our free tours for NGOs.

Cooltourspain’s opinion about the responsible tours in Madrid

Thanks for reading up to here. For your information, our guides are extremely aware of what’s happeing around the world. Somehow, we turned into activists and demonstrators. We focus on changing people’s minds, using the responsible tours in Madrid as a tool for action. What do you do in your daily life to change the world?

Send us your message. Tell us if any of the topics discussed within this article affect you or your community.

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  • Responsable: Javier Garcia Colomo.
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