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Projects/2009/1._L'Arbre de la Llibertat i altres històries (The Tree of Liberty and Other Stories)
Visit the project's blog (Cat.)
Details: Public Art project in Barcelona District of Gràcia (ES), comissioned by PROJECTE PÚBLIC, 2008–2009. Project in collaboration with Mariano Maturana. With thanks to Marc Viaplana, Rafael Iniesta, Xavier Theros, Pau Riba, Juan Crek.

The Tree of Liberty and other stories –original title: L'arbre de la llibertat i altres històries (Cat)– is a public art project in Barcelona District of Gràcia. The project proposes a series of site–specific events and tours significant to the libertarian history and spirit of the Town of Gràcia.

An on-line archive is available that charts the research process as well as records the different interventions. You can visit this onine archive at: http://turismotactico.org/info-por-accion/.

During the short period that spans from 1821 to 1823, Gràcia was an independent town. From 1823 to 1850 –with some 13,500 residents– Gràcia was annexed to Barcelona. In 1850 the town regained its municipal independence back, until 1879 –with 62,000 inhabitants– when it was finally absorbed by Barcelona.

The installation in Gràcia of textile factories and workshops during the nineteenth century would essentially form a working population inclined at first to federalism and then to internationalism, socialism and, eventually, anarchism.

This contributed to Gràcia's important role in the historical process that lead to the triumph of anarchy and the Revolution of July 1936.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the residents of Gracia's neighbourhood founded the first anarchist publications that introduced anarchist ideas throughout Spain. The existence in the district of independent artisans was the source of these publications, which were often the result of personal initiatives with the support of a small circle of collaborators.

The distribuition of this anarchist press abroad was the reason why so many relevant foreign anarchists -especially the prosecuted ones- arrived and settled in Gràcia in the search of support or to propagate their ideas. Samples of these are Errico Malatesta and Paolo Schicchi, which lived on Culebra Street (now Francisco Giner Street) where they held many of their activities and discussions.

This project is also a memorial of fellow anarchist neighbour Abel Paz, a writer and historian, biographer of Buenaventura Durruti, who died Monday, 13 April 2009, at age 87.