The doors of La Model open, never to be closed againAs from 21 January, the Model prison will become a social, cultural and community facility for city residents. The public will be able to freely access the interior yard, a new green space for the neighbourhood, as well as a route around the building. At the same time, a participatory process will be held to define what use to make of the various parts of the whole site.
City residents will now be able to visit the prison, which was closed to the public until now. Visitors can freely access the interior yard, which becomes a new green space for the Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood, with different activities being organised there such as storytelling, debates and book exchanges. Every afternoon there will also be a chance to have a look around the various facilities at the former prison, such as the telephone booths, the entrance yard, the post room, the panoptic viewing point, galleries 4 and 5 and the multi-purpose sports yard.
- Interior yard: Sunday, 21 January, from 3 pm to 6 pm, and Mondays to Saturdays, from 10 am to 7 pm.
- Visitors’ route around the prison: Sunday, 21 January, from 3 pm to 6 pm. Fridays, from 3 pm to 6 pm, and Saturdays, from 10 am to 6 pm.
Guided and themed tours will start in the spring, offering a more in-depth look at the former penitentiary centre and the different collectives who have been kept there over its 113-year history.
‘La Model per dins’, an exhibition around the prison’s perimeter walls
The outside wall of the site features the exhibition ‘La Model per dins’, consisting of large-format photos by Josep Maria de Llobet and showing what the prison was like inside when it was definitively closed down in June 2017. The images sum up the character of a prison: a place with no intimacy, constantly being watched.
Programme of social, cultural and memorial activities
La Model will offer a stable programme of social and cultural activities, starting on 22 January with the 2nd Meeting of the Network of Cities against Francoist Impunity. The meeting will analyse and discuss municipal initiatives to reclaim truth, justice and reconciliation for the crimes of the Francoist era. The signing up period for the session is now closed, but a giant screen will be set up in the outside yard of the former prison to enable people to follow the meeting.
Programmed activities continue on 24 January with the start of the series of talks ‘Look at La Model, Look at the City’, by La Model Memorial Space. The aim is to introduce the former Barcelona prison to people via a diverse set of themes including architecture, politics, social control and the relationship with the city from various perspectives.
La Model will also be offering round table sessions in February and March as part of the programme for the BCNegra festival, as well as a seminar on mental health and one on community action.
Defining usage and facilities
The definitive uses and facilities for the site will be agreed on by local residents and entities over the first quarter of 2018. The Decidim Barcelona platform will also be used to collect suggestions by citizens and ensure the transparency of the process. In addition to the public debate, a technical analysis will look at the potential of the site and the criteria for the preservation of memory and prioritisation of uses already worked on.
The results will be included in the update to the Master Plan for La Model, with the different projects to be defined in 2019 and work to start in 2020. During this term of office, 4.9 million euros will be invested in the project.