Spain's southern region Andalusia is home to flamenco, a style of folk art known for its emotional music, powerful singers and seductive dance. Lyrics often speak of love and love lost, but also deal with pain, poverty and sorrow — topics that many Andalusians know all too well in recent years.
Spain has made painful cuts to spending as it has struggled with a devastating economic crisis in the last several years. The number of poor and unemployed has ballooned throughout the country, but Andalusia has been hit especially hard.
Protests are common, but one collective has made theirs uniquely Andalusian. In late June, three members of FLO6x8, a group of activists with ties to the flamenco world, interrupted the regional parliament one by one singing songs in the flamenco style that spoke out against unemployment, corruption and the crisis.
Each time, the protesters were removed from the public gallery shortly after they began to sing. The demonstration received some media coverage at the time, and an edited video of it posted to Facebook has since gone viral with more than 48,000 shares. Watch the protest performance with English subtitles below:
The first singer criticized the lack of jobs in Spain, which has forced many young Spaniards to leave the country in search of work elsewhere:
quieres tú verme
o que emigre
por un trabjao de mierda
mientras engordáis con EREs
y sois manijeros de la troika
is how you want to see me
or that I emigrate.
for a shit job
while you all get fat off layoffs.
And you all are lackeys of the troika.
Two-thirds of Andalusians are unemployed, according to the latest data from European Union statistics agency Eurostat. Poverty in the region, where agriculture and tourism are the main industries, grew 11 percent between 2007 and 2012 to 24.1 percent, one of the highest in Spain.
Andalusia asked for a bailout from Madrid in September 2012, becoming the fourth region to do so. Spain was given its own rescue package of $126 billion from the so-called troika — the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – a few months earlier to recapitalize its ailing banking sector.
FLO6x8 has staged similar protests inside banks with singing, dancing and guitar. Take a look:
The group advocates the creation of a new constitution with the participation of all Spaniards. Until that happens, they promise politicians that “we will speak out in any public place where you show your venerable faces.”