The notion in most of our minds is that rooftops are only useful for mounting satellite dishes, hanging wet clothes or at the very least protecting the inside of our houses. In Spain, however, new groups have brought to light, the fact that a rooftop is much more than concrete above our houses. These new movements are doing so by reclaiming and transforming rooftops into vibrant cultural spaces.
Redetejas is a non-profit organization in Seville that is busy renovating rooftops into cultural centers. Owing to the groups work, residents in urban areas of Seville can now use their rooftops to participate in musical performances, magic shows, and theater performances. Utilizing these roof spaces is a cost effective means for hosting social events since space in urban areas tends to be limited and expensive.
Jaime Fernandez, a member of Redetejas, said that rooftops were used historically as collaborative spaces between neighbors. However, in modern times, rooftops have lost their social significance and have merely become vastly underused public space. He said that Redetejas wanted to challenge the norms surrounding these public spaces in order to reclaim rooftops for cultural use.
Radetejas runs on a simple model where organizers pitch events and hosts allow them to use their rooftops for a night. The project is licensed under creative commons meaning any person is at liberty to copy and modify Radetejas on condition that they observe copyright rules. Also, all rooftops events are supposed to be cultural in nature. Organizers may at times charge a voluntary fee at the entrance of events to cover the costs incurred while organizing for the event.
Rooftop events in Spain are an amazing platform for cultural tourism. Tourists that participate in these events can learn a lot about the history of Spain, the art, religions of the Spanish and the basic facts that shape the way of life in Spain. Events such as book readings, poetry, art exhibitions, wine festivals, theater, and others all underscore elements of Spain’s culture and, therefore, allow the visitor to experience first hand what is means to be Spanish.
Visitors to Spain that are also looking to network with locals and to learn the language will find that rooftop events are an ideal spot. These events are usually small and more personal than other traditional and more formal occasions. Cultural rooftop events are therefore a fun, natural and inexpensive way to make new Spanish friends.