G.I.L.A comes from Lavapiés, Madrid, and defines itself as an artivist “makeshift joker” group. It is a collective heteronym that comes from “15M” movement, also known as the Spanish Revolution. It is located in one of the more characteristic activist neighbourhoods of Madrid, a neighbourhood that oozes of multiculturalism, creativity and provides a platform for activist opportunities. Spin-off groups are starting in other places of Spain inside the “15M” context where actions are welcome. The group uses humour as a tool to dissect reality and to reach 99% of the people. G.I.L.A want to open the cracks in the system using laughter, and for that, one of their motto's are “Our revenge will be be happy”
The actions, interventions and campaigns that the group develop are performed on the street with a large social media presence. G.I.L.A look toward interaction with the audience in these actions, a viral effect that produces a continuous flow between the internet and the street.
A successful action was #LunaresparaMerkel, which called for the citizens to sarcastically go dressed in polka dots for Angela Merkel, as in the Spanish film “Welcome Mr. Marshall”; a critique about the homage that Spanish leaders paid to the Americans who came to enslave spain with Marshall Plan debt. For weeks the hoard of advertising in the centre of Madrid appeared to change into folkloric characters, with a huge amount of hair combs and polka dots. The action was really successful and the “indignants” appeared dressed with polka dots and hair combs, singing their rejection to the plump german leader with grace. The protest managed to skirt media censorship by using humour and being visually powerful.
Another interesting intervention was the #Porrablock. After the highly violent scenes against citizens on 25S, when hundreds of thousands of peaceful citizens surrounded the Spanish Parliament asking for politicians to resign, G.I.L.A convened citizens to use their baton against the police: an edible baton (in Spanish “porras-churros” a typical Spanish food). The police were shocked looking at dozens of citizens brandishing “porras-churros” against them, they had no idea what to do because this was not in their manuals.
Their current plans are to declare war on capitalism and bankrupt the banks.