Saucepans and systems failure

1 min readDec 1, 2020
When I lived in Barcelona, I witnessed and took part in my first ever “cacerolada” on the 11-M to protest the bomb attacks which had taken place the same day in Madrid, a few hours before the elections.

This technique, consisting of bashing a saucepan (symbolic in Spain for making tortillas) from your own home, accompanied by your neighbours, originated as a form of protest during the South American dictatorships and made famous during the Argentinian economic crisis.

This video shows why the “indignados” movement in Barcelona brought out their saucepans — when you listen to just three of its comments on the system failure of the key components that make up society…and why they feel it’s not working for them.

1. Democracy: “There were more spoiled votes than votes for the winning party”

2. Economy: “Even when you’re evicted, you still have to pay the interest on the rent of your house”

3. State: “Activists occupied an abandoned building to provide housing for the homeless”

Time to reboot?




Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese