Sister Teresa, Ora et Labora

The phrase Ora et Labora, “pray and work” refers to the monastic practice of working and praying, its use in the Rule of St. Benedict. Benedict viewed prayer and work as partners, and believed in combining contemplation with action. So, Sister Teresa Forcades, a Spanish medical doctor and a Benedictine nun, sees her mission.

In 2013, she coauthored “Manifesto for the convening of a constituent process in Catalonia”, with economist Arcadi Oliveres. In it they propose achieving independence for Catalonia through new political and social model based on self-organization and social mobilization.

Teresa has emerged as one of the most outspoken – and atypical – leaders in Europe also giving her help in the campaign against the  H1N1 vaccine.

Land and Freedom

Javier Ballestreros working at at the occupied Somonte farm in Palma del Rio, Spain

‘Somonte Resiste’ is written with rocks in enormous letters at the main entrance, readable from the air. And I’m pretty sure that Somonte will keep resisting… Spanish Revolution. The Somonte farm has been occupied by members of the Syndicato Andalucia Trabajadores (SAT) since March 4th 2012. These actions represent a platform for the struggle against the commodification and privatization of natural resources: the land belongs to those who cultivate it.

The photographs has been published on Helsinki Sanomat to illustrate a story by Johanna Kippo.

Roberto Saviano, a “national hero”


Roberto Saviano in Barcelona, February 2009 (photo: Stefano Buonamici)

In his writings, articles, television programs, and books he employs prose and news-reporting style to narrate the story of the Camorra (a powerful Neapolitan mafia-like organization), exposing its territory and business connections.

Since 2006, following the publication of his bestselling book Gomorrah (Gomorra in Italian), where he describes the clandestine particulars of the Camorra business, Saviano has been threatened by several Neapolitan “godfathers”.

En 2008 six Nobel Prize-awarded authors and intellectuals (Orhan PamukDario FoRita Levi MontalciniDesmond TutuGünter Grass, and Mikhail Gorbachev) published an article in which they say that they side with Saviano against Camorra, and they think that Camorra is not just a problem of security and public order, but also a democratic one.

Since 2008 he lives under a permanent police escort.

Joan Laporta goes in to politics

a story from the Helsinki Sanomat