A Vote for the Future Favorite 



May 15 2011


Madrid Spain

The 15M movement in Spain grew out of a desire for liberation and greater access to social and political rights for marginalized groups. At its core the activists of 15M were visionaries and used voting for a utopian society as a creative act to reimagine the world they created. Reality is socially construed by the forces that determine individual agency. Each member who voted on how they imagined a new future completed an act of art by constructing the possibility of new ideologies that challenge and would replace the status quo.

15M tactfully allowed for voting to find itself within the intersection of art and activism. After the encampment of Sol, 15M activists designed a software, Propongo, which would allow users to create language surrounding issues they thought should be voted on. This innovative technology was creative because it challenged the top down distribution of knowledge from the elite to the proletariat.

The design of Propongo, where anyone can vote and propose, represented the horizontal leadership and the diversity of issues represented under the umbrella term 15M. The 15M movement has activists protesting LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, economic liberation and environmentalism among many other issues; these points of protest can be observed by examining the collected protest materials from the encampment. The votes and proposed legislation align with the protest art material.

Using Propongo, the citizens in the Indigent Urns initiative were able to obtain 10 proposals. These include: binding referendum, reform to the electoral law, riot police visibly showing their number, lowering the salary of politicians, elimination of religion classes, publishing on the internet of expenses.

The movement of 15M allowed for art and activism to find itself at intersections as Spain began to envision a new world. With the support of thousands, activists were able to capture the essence of what was being protested through a creative voting system. The ideological shift caused by the movement will continue to live on.

Posted by micaelthompson.jr on

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