Recetas Urbanas in its role to solve projects proposed by other people and collective groups, decided to construct a phone cabin to install on it a free landline for international and national calls, that could be use by the neighbors from a downtown district in Madrid, where the majority of its population were inmigrants.
This proposal was an initiative from the users of a squatted social center with whom we were working for over a year on that moment. With them the complicities and trust were being reinforced by the collective construction of furniture and/or installations that improved the use of the interior and exterior spaces.
Moreover, the action looked for showing what we could do with the resources that were being completely commercialized and going to be sell in overseas markets; the proposed option was to reuse those resources for just social proposals and it results in the creation of a temporary parody of it. This characteristic can be require as vital from all the new technology that is being produced.
The physical construction of the cabin it was made reusing the sliding aluminum windows from my parent´s house old cladding. The platform and the phone were given by some of the collaborators and friends. At the end, it was all done in one day, taking advantage of the fact that the Recetas Urbanas team was spending new year´s eve in the host social center.
The phone installation and its link-up to the network it was made by specialists that managed to enable international and national phone calls that last maximum nine minutes each and they were for free.
The action experimented and questioned if would be an ability and willingness to experience a responsible use of the phone cabin by the people that will use it. We could verify that during the time it lasted, the number of phone calls per day was really high.What it was even better was the respect that people showed to it and to its use making lines and considering the shifts establish for it.
Two acts of vandalism were managed to destroy the project. The first one was the removal of the phone and it happened after one month of the cabin being in use. The last one consisted on a fire that consumed the entire cabin. This action took place twenty days after the phone had to be restore on the cabin as a result of the first action.
In general, the actions that are done on the street always have to fight with vandalism which in each case can have one main actor or reason, that sometimes can be difficult to identify. This specific action was attacked due to the free character for the use of the landline. The phone companies charge for the landlines really high fees on a service that is vital for a certain group of people that needs to communicate with their families in their birth countries.
The interest in replicate the project by other collective groups in different cities cheered up the people involved in the action and remembered that even if we are being watch, it is always friends that support the ideas and reproduce them.