Difference between revisions of "Marinaleda"

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According to the official history on the municipal website, in 1977 residents of Marinaleda formed a union of agricultural labourers, whose  achieved an absolute majority in elections to the local council in 1979, the first democratic elections following the end of the Franco regime. Life under Franco was reported to have been extremely difficult, with indiscriminate repression during the 1940s, widespread hunger during the 1940s and 50s, and emigration of around a third of the population in the face of poverty during the 1960s.<ref name="Marinaleda website"> http://www.marinaleda.com/historia.htm. Accessed June 26th 2018.</ref>
 
According to the official history on the municipal website, in 1977 residents of Marinaleda formed a union of agricultural labourers, whose  achieved an absolute majority in elections to the local council in 1979, the first democratic elections following the end of the Franco regime. Life under Franco was reported to have been extremely difficult, with indiscriminate repression during the 1940s, widespread hunger during the 1940s and 50s, and emigration of around a third of the population in the face of poverty during the 1960s.<ref name="Marinaleda website"> http://www.marinaleda.com/historia.htm. Accessed June 26th 2018.</ref>
  
Local action to secure tenure over land then in the hands of large absentee-owner estates escalated following the 1979 election. Over 700 people took part in a hunger strike during 1980, successfully achieving their aims of better pay and stricter regulation of employment law. Subsequently, several occupations of land and infrastructure led to the village being awarded collective rights and provision of irrigation facilities to El Humoso, a 1200-hectare plot of land adjacent to the village, in 1986, with transfer of ownership finally complete in 1991. El Humoso began life as an operational farm in following completion of its irrigation system in 1997.<ref name="Marinaleda website" /> Researchers at the University of Cordoba identified this as part of a wider land reform movement in Andalucia, initiated during the Second Republic (1930-36) but subsequently blocked during the Civil War and Franco era.<ref>name="perez1997">Pérez, A.S., Remmers, G.G.A., 1997. A landscape in transition: an historical perspective on a Spanish latifundist farm. ''Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment'' '''63''', 91–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(97)00009-1</ref>
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Local action to secure tenure over land then in the hands of large absentee-owner estates escalated following the 1979 election. Over 700 people took part in a hunger strike during 1980, successfully achieving their aims of better pay and stricter regulation of employment law. Subsequently, several occupations of land and infrastructure led to the village being awarded collective rights and provision of irrigation facilities to El Humoso, a 1200-hectare plot of land adjacent to the village, in 1986, with transfer of ownership finally complete in 1991. El Humoso began life as an operational farm in following completion of its irrigation system in 1997.<ref name="Marinaleda website" /> Researchers at the University of Cordoba identified this as part of a wider land reform movement in Andalucia, initiated during the Second Republic (1930-36) but subsequently blocked during the Civil War and Franco era.<ref name="perez1997">Pérez, A.S., Remmers, G.G.A., 1997. A landscape in transition: an historical perspective on a Spanish latifundist farm. ''Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment'' '''63''', 91–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(97)00009-1</ref>
  
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== Social and Economic Organisation ==
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Before El Humoso became operational, unemployment in Marinaleda was estimated at 65 per cent of the working age population, ninety per cent of those being agricultural labourers.<ref name="perez1997" /> Journalistic accounts reports that this has changed dramatically since the community began to work the land on a cooperative basis, emphasising cultivation of labour-intensive crops and secondary processing at two new factories, also owned and run by the community, in order to maximise employment rather than revenues. Proceeds are reinvested in creating new jobs, and workers renumerated at a flat rate equivalent to double the Spanish minimum wage.<ref name="guardian article">https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/marinaleda-spanish-communist-village-utopia. Accessed June 26th 2018</ref> This is consistent with the cooperative's initial vision of the land as a source of economic sovereignty, in some respects representing continuation of previous approaches to agricultural production and land management not entirely consistent with agroecological methods emphasising crop diversity and landscape heterogeneity.<ref name="perez1997" /> During the post-2008 financial crisis, Marinaleda boasted full employment, though critics have noted that a scarcity of available work and funds meant that in few if any cases was this full-time.<ref>https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/04/spain-utopia-160418120509828.html. Accessed June 26th 2018.</ref> Researchers from A Coruña University reported that in 2013 unemployment in Marinaleda was 7 per cent,<ref>López-Bahut, E., Paz-Agras, L., 2015. [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279749362_Bottom-up_Process_in_Marinaleda_Spain_Houses_Public_Spaces_and_Landscape_as_Spatial_Materialisation_of_Democracy Bottom-up Process in Marinaleda, Spain: Houses, Public Spaces and Landscape as Spatial Materialisation of Democracy.] Presented at the Defining Landscape Democracy. Centre for Landscape Democracy (CLaD), Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)</ref> a fraction of national and regional averages.
  
  

Revision as of 11:49, 26 June 2018

Marinaleda is a municipality in Seville Province, southern Spain, that since the late 1970s has operated under a form of grassroots democracy involving high levels of community control over decision-making, agricultural activity, employment and housing. The highly communitarian basis of its social and economic organisation appears to have insulated residents from some of the worst after-effects of the 2008 financial crisis, particularly in terms of safeguarding livelihoods and homes. It is widely considered a possible model for more collaborative approaches to local government that can inform understanding of interactions between community action and local government.

History

According to the official history on the municipal website, in 1977 residents of Marinaleda formed a union of agricultural labourers, whose achieved an absolute majority in elections to the local council in 1979, the first democratic elections following the end of the Franco regime. Life under Franco was reported to have been extremely difficult, with indiscriminate repression during the 1940s, widespread hunger during the 1940s and 50s, and emigration of around a third of the population in the face of poverty during the 1960s.[1]

Local action to secure tenure over land then in the hands of large absentee-owner estates escalated following the 1979 election. Over 700 people took part in a hunger strike during 1980, successfully achieving their aims of better pay and stricter regulation of employment law. Subsequently, several occupations of land and infrastructure led to the village being awarded collective rights and provision of irrigation facilities to El Humoso, a 1200-hectare plot of land adjacent to the village, in 1986, with transfer of ownership finally complete in 1991. El Humoso began life as an operational farm in following completion of its irrigation system in 1997.[1] Researchers at the University of Cordoba identified this as part of a wider land reform movement in Andalucia, initiated during the Second Republic (1930-36) but subsequently blocked during the Civil War and Franco era.[2]

Social and Economic Organisation

Before El Humoso became operational, unemployment in Marinaleda was estimated at 65 per cent of the working age population, ninety per cent of those being agricultural labourers.[2] Journalistic accounts reports that this has changed dramatically since the community began to work the land on a cooperative basis, emphasising cultivation of labour-intensive crops and secondary processing at two new factories, also owned and run by the community, in order to maximise employment rather than revenues. Proceeds are reinvested in creating new jobs, and workers renumerated at a flat rate equivalent to double the Spanish minimum wage.[3] This is consistent with the cooperative's initial vision of the land as a source of economic sovereignty, in some respects representing continuation of previous approaches to agricultural production and land management not entirely consistent with agroecological methods emphasising crop diversity and landscape heterogeneity.[2] During the post-2008 financial crisis, Marinaleda boasted full employment, though critics have noted that a scarcity of available work and funds meant that in few if any cases was this full-time.[4] Researchers from A Coruña University reported that in 2013 unemployment in Marinaleda was 7 per cent,[5] a fraction of national and regional averages.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.marinaleda.com/historia.htm. Accessed June 26th 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Pérez, A.S., Remmers, G.G.A., 1997. A landscape in transition: an historical perspective on a Spanish latifundist farm. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 63, 91–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(97)00009-1
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/marinaleda-spanish-communist-village-utopia. Accessed June 26th 2018
  4. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/04/spain-utopia-160418120509828.html. Accessed June 26th 2018.
  5. López-Bahut, E., Paz-Agras, L., 2015. Bottom-up Process in Marinaleda, Spain: Houses, Public Spaces and Landscape as Spatial Materialisation of Democracy. Presented at the Defining Landscape Democracy. Centre for Landscape Democracy (CLaD), Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)