A little light agitprop goes a long way in Spain where the Madrid-based, anonymous art collective Luzinterruptus combined a tradition of prayer with protest at soaring electricity costs.
January 2017 saw predictions that domestic power bills would grow by around € 100 a year on average. The government blamed a rise in raw energy prices, a drought that hit hydro
production, and having to sell energy to France where 20 of its 58 nuclear facilities were offline due to safety concerns. Luzinterruptus, though, was particularly irked by Spain’s so-called
sun tax, which makes solar panel owners pay for the electricity they generate for themselves, and prohibits them from selling any excess. Known for short-lived but subversive installations –
from dumpsters full of illuminated carrier bags to mazes of lit plastic bottles – Luzinterruptus placed 50 illuminated figurines in the high niches of half a dozen concrete light columns
in Villa de Vallecas, Madrid. Timed for Palm Sunday, an important date in the Christian calendar, the idea was to inspire the working class district’s citizens to mass at the city’s busy
Puerta del Sol and pray with candles. Whether by divine, artistic or popular intervention, moves have been made to scrap the controversial impost.