In Lavapiés all the streets lead to the same square; In Lavapiés all the children play with the same ball [...]
Home to 82 nationalities, 62% of whom are of foreign origin, Lavapiés is a type of self-contained representation of the world at large. Once referred to as able to depict all of Madrid, Lavapiés now could be a reference to much larger shifts in the world.
In addition to its immediately obvious multiculturalism in the form of the numerous nationalities present on the street, the area also fosters cultures of a different kind. Punks and the elderly, drunks and the hipsters, children and tourists all rub elbows. Not to say that all this happens in harmony, there is a certain permissiveness integral to Lavapiés. There seems to be not one but multiple ways Lavapiés can be inhabited. Each person in their own Lavapiés building up to a kind of social ensalada mixta where gentrification has a major ingredient.
The Lavapiés project aims to collect different fractions of the barrio which in combination with each other aim to represent a more objective reality. No piece of the project has authority over the other; the archive, photographs, written stories, items, interviews and maps all have the same importance in achieving the end goal.
Representing an entire barrio, especially as an outsider, is essentially impossible. One can only attempt to see beyond barriers of one’s limited perception by including the perception of others alongside your own. It is in the combination of different media, experiences and knowledge that the possibility of an objective truth is possible.