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We are not numbers

The Platform of People Affected by Mortgage Debt (PAH) had announced it for a while: “If Caixa Catalunya does not respond to our 321 applications to exchange houses for cancellation of mortgage debts, there will be war.” Said and done. On January 10, at five o’clock in the afternoon, hundreds of people gathered in Barcelona’s Via Laietana in the front door of Caixa Catalunya’s main building. Enmedio were also there – how could we miss something like this? With us we carried the most recent fruit of our Photographic Action Workshop (TAF!): a collection of postcards saying, “We are not numbers.” Note that these cards are designed specifically for actions like this. In less than half an hour we already had hundreds of them filled out with personal messages for Caixa Catalunya, the bank that evicts the most people in this region. They said things like: “Thieves”, “You’re taking our lives”, “One day you will be judged”.

Once we had all the postcards ready we stuck them where they would be most visible, in the main front doors of the bank, and we also pasted up some giant portraits of people affected by mortgage debt owned by the same entity. Judging from the newspapers the next morning, the reporters there enjoyed our action and obligingly published the photos we wanted. What more can we say? We love it when a plan comes together.

* We are not numbers is part of ‘How much do I owe you?’ an exhibition in New York dedicated to money and debt.

Photos: Oriana Eliçabe, Fotomovimiento.org y Consuelo Bautista.

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