Far from the sun, sea and sangria that feature most prominently on the typical Spanish holiday souvenir, the group’s postcards feature snapshots of the “real Spain”: police beating up a protestor, long unemployment queues and families scavenging through bins for food are just some of the scenes depicted on the postcards.
The postcards were the brainchild of a group of advertising students in Madrid, who came up with the idea for a class project. They took the postcards out onto the streets of the Spanish capital to see how locals and tourists would react.
The Local caught up with group members Lía García Díaz, Toño Pascual Gómez and Rober Garrido Vázquez to learn more about the project.
Protesters being beaten by Spanish police. Photo: The Real Spain
What inspired you to start the project?
The Real Spain was born as a class project at college. We are a pretty diverse group of students with one thing in common: we don’t like injustice. So, when the idea came up, we decided to go beyond the limits of theory and make it happen.
How does the real Spain differ from the Spain that tourists see?
Well, first of all, we have to say that we are not very proud of what’s supposed to be the 'happy' face of Spain. Bullfighting, siesta and partying are not the only things we have. Spain is an amazing country with tons of culture, breathtaking landscapes and great people. Tourists only get a simplified image of our country.
Spain has a really ugly face, too. We are sick of hearing our politicians selling things such as a 'magic recovery' in international meetings when that’s not how we feel. We’ve been told several times that things like that happen in almost every country but, for us, that can never be an excuse for letting it happen here.
What reaction did you receive when you took the postcards out onto the streets of Madrid?
Do you blame anyone for the situation Spain is in today?
Without a doubt: the politicians. We are not saying that all the politicians of this country are corrupt, of course, but it’s disturbing how the number of corruption issues keeps growing and growing and, for some reason, citizens keep voting for those people, becoming as guilty as them.
We think that politicians are supposed to be devoted to the country they represent and that they should take great care of the population, but nowadays, politics is not about serving your country, it is about earning money and ensuring your own well-being.
The postcards depict scenes from the “real” Spain, such as families scavenging for food. Photo: The Real Spain
We don’t actually support any particular party. We are a really diverse group of people with different points of view about political issues. We strongly believe that what we have right now is not working as it should so we are completely up for a change, but we have different opinions about which is the best way to make that change happen.
We would like to think that this change will make things right, but of course, we can never be sure until the new politicians prove they’re what we need.