Vida Mantera (Life on a Blanket) is a series of four articles and videos for Catalunya Plural – eldiario.es, elaborated thanks to the support of a DevReporter grant, to explain in all its complexity the phenomenon of irregular street vending in the city of Barcelona.
The political debate in the year 2015 made it look like that street vendors were one of the main problems of the city of Barcelona. Media spoke a lot about it, but normally from a public-order perspective that had little regard to the situations of the people involved. With this project, our intention was to change the focus and talk about the root causes of this reality.
The DevReporter grant allowed us to travel to Senegal, the country of origin of the majority of sellers working in Barcelona streets, to learn about the situation in the country, the exploitation it suffers from Europe and the economic situation that force many young people to leave. We also talked with them and various organizations about the situations they face in Barcelona, as well as the difficulties that European migration policies entail.
The team that developed the project was formed by Yeray S. Iborra, João França and Sònia Calvó Carrió, and had the collaboration of Mariama Badgi, who accompanied us during the trip to Senegal and, after a visit to Barcelona, published a series of reports at Le Soleil. Later, the colleague Yeray S. Iborra published a book based on this work, also titled Vida Mantera.