The land belongs to those who work it—“La tierra es de quien la trabaja.”
One hundred kilometers from Seville, there is a small village, Marinaleda, that for the last thirty years has been at the center of a long struggle to create a communist utopia. In a story reminiscent of the Asterix books, Dan Hancox explores the reality behind the community where no one has a mortgage, sport is played in the Che Guevara stadium and there are monthly “Red Sundays” where everyone works together to clean up the neighbourhood. In particular he tells the story of the village mayor, Sánchez Gordillo, who in 2012 became a household name in Spain after leading raids on local supermarkets to feed the Andalucian unemployed.
"Hancox captures the optimism necessary for alternative ways of doing politics, economics and living together. As the borderline between dream and reality shimmers in the heat of Andalucia, we begin to wonder if living as if change were indeed possible is the very key to making actual change happen. Do we really have any other choice?"—Suzanne Moore, TheGuardian
"It sounds like science fiction: a small rural town led by a charismatic mayor tries to turn itself into a communist utopia. But it’s fact—it’s happening right now in Andalucia, and colliding with the region’s real-world history of violent rebellion and radicalism. Hancox’s book could not be more timely—with Spain on the brink of social crisis and the shadows of the past emerging."—Paul Mason, author of Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere
"Dan Hancox’s The Village Against the World is, for lack of a better word, awesome. ... Hancox’s book reads like something one might find on the New York Times best-seller list if it weren’t for its subject matter: the anti-authoritarian shenanigans of a Communist village and it’s Robin Hood mayor. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in radical movements like Occupy Wall Street or the Zapatistas."—Critical-theory.com “full of lively and genuinely inspiring detail”—David Edgar, The Guardian