Gentrification as a Night Crime

Mouraria is one of our case-study districts, a working-class and deprived area where the state-led promotion of art and culture is changing its landscape every day…and every night. As David Ley has stressed in “Artists, Aestheticisation and the Field of Gentrification”, urban commodification and capital reinvestment in some particular areas are often accompanied by the “artistization” of the district.

In the following chronicle about Mouraria’s night by the Spanish public television is possible to identify all the elements: the bohemian taste for “danger” and “authenticity”, the well-meaning and naive artists with their “political” and “rooted” projects, and the local inhabitants looking distrustful to these developments which are largely unconnected with their real lives. This perfectly mixed night-time cocktail is causing the desired outcome: the attraction of visitors, the rise of rental prices, the eviction of local inhabitants. Therefore, Mouraria becomes the perfect example of how gentrification could act as a tasteful and delicate “night crime”.