Resin and Plaster, Ø 100 × 9 cm
The conflict over the ownership of the common goods is, precisely (…) the subject that articulates the project carried out by Rubén Santiago who, under the title of OMEN ( in its original title), reflects on the collective experiences of the use of forest in the context of Galicia and northern Portugal. In his work he refers to the confrontation between the villagers of the Salcedo Mountains (Pontevedra) and the Spanish Army over the occupation of some land for the construction of a training base for the Airborne Infantry Brigade (Brilat) known as the because its function was to train the troops for their participation in the war in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission.
The management and use of these lands have historically been linked to the local community, and since the 19th Century these ways of life have been heavily harassed by both the State and private interests. (…)
Rubén Santiago uses this case to elaborate a narrative that contradicts the inevitability of the process of centralised or privatising expropriation. Despite the fact that in this episode the forces at odds were those of communal management and the State, we cannot ignore the powerful private interests that were also at stake, if we take into account the enormous dimension of private business linked to the contemporary war, stimulated by the military-industrial complex. The OMEN project marks a moment in history that deserves being told, especially in a context, such as the present one, where cultural (ideological) warfare seems lost and there are few gaps for the development of alternative ways of life to those proposed by the neoliberal logic that governs us.