The La Latina neighborhood in Madrid had a popular public swimming pool, it was in the Plaza de la Cebada and the residents went to the Center to practice the healthy sport of swimming, even in winter.
In 2008 the pool was demolished with a firm promise on the part of the Town Hall, that in 2 years there would be another in its place, more modern and with more capacity to serve more people from the neighborhood.
The project also included the remodeling of the Mercado de la Cebada that would be replaced by one of avant-garde architecture with areas for leisure, sports and with greenery on its exterior.
As of May 21 of 2012 neither the construction of the swimming pool or the market had begun and the prospect that the future building housing sports facilities available to all residents seems increasingly distant.
The latest news, paints a less optimistic picture, in keeping with that unhealthy trend of converting the traditional markets into leisure and gastronomic centers for the rich, that leave the neighborhoods without the traditional small business. According to media reports, they are going to build a luxurious shopping center with a large offering of gastronomic and leisure attractions, in which we are afraid that neither the sports center nor the businesses are going to be affordable for those from the neighborhood, which will become a center of pilgrimage for “people with money” from outside the neighborhood who will be without their sports center or traditional business.
While the building site is transformed into another fashion shopping center, neighbors and collectives have converted this empty lot in a wonderful Field of Barley, empty of water but full of activities that have converted it into a space of reference where residents can participate in and carry out self-organised activities where everyone is invited.
In this context, and to celebrate the first anniversary of the transfer by the town hall of the Field of Barley, the day of May 15th, we carried out an installation in the form of pool of light to remind the neighbors of what the space was and should be in the not too distant future.
For a month, we have been collecting transparent recycled packaging, that the residents were leaving in containers within the field, in addition, coinciding with the San Isidro fiestas we went to LasVistillas and collected more than 800 glassess that the people had left in the street after drinking their alcoholic contents.
In the end, we got more than 2,000 transparent containers that we washed and reconditioned and with the help of many little helpers, friends and visitors of the field we went about placing them in a certain disorderly order, filled with blue colored water with lights up to achieve a luminous 6 ×4 meter pool.
The installation was called Pool on a background of Field of Barley and was shining until the early morning hours.
Thanks to all our friends who selflessly helped us, Loreto, Lucas, Jose, Marianico, Betsabe Aurora, Cris Aliencito, Ruben, Eva … to the friends of the Field of barley that provided the space and the facilities to collect the packaging to carry out the installation and especially to children, who with their creativity and joy were the protagonists of the resurgence, for a while, of our ephemeral pool.
Time of installation: 12 hour.
Exhibition time: 8 hours.