The Moral Economy of Indignation: From Individualized Despair to Collective Action in the Spanish Housing Crisis.
In this situation the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca, PAH) was founded in Barcelona: In their meetings they have combined aspects of juridical and psychological counseling and consequently collectivized the experiences of thousands of individuals who had just lost their homes. Most importantly, they translated these experiences into political action of non-violent protest. Sometimes they occupied banks’ branches, or did escraches, in which they publicly and spectacularly accused individuals implied in the mortgage industry, to put pressure on them and ease the conditions for the respective debtors. By now, PAH has become a powerful nation-wide network, and in 2015, Ada Colau, one of its founders, was elected mayor of Barcelona.
This paper will analyze the role of emotions and their transformation in the political strategies of PAH, based on the accounts of their action and on the life story interviews conducted in 2015 with PAH activists from different social backgrounds.