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Alternative Living: squats around the world

Symbols of social movements fighting for decent housing, squat houses are characterized by the recovery and conversion of vacant buildings into dwellings or cultural centers. Always in the shadow of possible expulsion, their occupants denounce property speculation and demand their right to housing, even if it is at the expense of the right to private property.

Today, we will show you this culture by visiting 5 squat houses that are authentic views of that life and worth seeing should you be in the area! 

Source: - for more squat houses

Forte Prenestino, Rome
Within its walls, Rome maintains a building that could receive a Pulitzer Prize of squat houses. It is nothing less than a former military fort that has been operating as a self-managed social center for 30 years, where exhibitions, concerts and all sorts of cultural events take place.

La Carbonera, Barcelona
Much more than a squat house, within its walls La Carbonera still has the memory of what it once was. The reason behind it? The City of Barcelona has classified the building in such a way that implies that the giant graffiti painted on its facade can never be eliminated. The building, known as La Carbonera or Casa Tarragò, was a squat house until 2014 and is the oldest building in the Eixample district.

Tommy Weissbecker Haus, Berlin
In the very colorful Kreuzberg district stands this easily identifiable house thanks to the impressive graffiti that covers one side of the building. Founded in honor of Tommy Weissbecker, a young anarchist killed in an attempted arrest by the police, the building became a squat house in 1973 by homeless youth and runaways who were looking for a place for the night. At the moment, and now legal, it remains faithful to its philosophy and also has a concert hall and a bar.

Vrankrijk House, Amsterdam
The squatter movement was a social phenomenon in the Netherlands, a country at the forefront of civic freedom and with a Ministry of Culture that let squatters get by until it switched off the taps at the end of 2010 and squatting became an offense. One of the most famous buildings in its glorious squat house past is the Vrankrijk House, first settled by squatters in 1982 to prevent the construction of apartments. Converted by its new tenants in 1992, the VranKrijk House has become a café where globalization is being debated.

50 rue de Rivoli, Paris
In 1999, the group of artists of "La Maison de Robert, electron libre" squatted in the building of a large bank located on one of the most important commercial streets in Paris, transforming it and welcoming artists from the world over. In 2001, the City of Paris bought it, legalized it and officially renamed it, which allows the squatters to continue practicing their art for the modest sum of 130€ / month. If you would like to visit, be aware that this museum receives about 40,000 visitors each year who prefer this free alternative to the Louvre or the Center Pompidou.

May 2017