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BAUEN, day 46

The party was held at the beginning of October of 2003, and marked the return of food and hospitality activities to the building at Callao 360—this time, without the boss. As Plácido says:

The bitterness of not being able to sufficiently satisfy the needs of my family for a year was mixed with the sweetness of being able to pay the debt to my daughter, thanks to the solidarity of all the compañeros. So, I went down in history as the first client of the BAUEN cooperative.

Thanks to the solidarity of workers and students, and also the push to remodel the hotel facilities, the members of the cooperative were able to survive the first year of the occupation. The efforts of those days were captured in Fabián Pierucci’s documentary, BAUEN: Struggle, culture and work, in the interviews of the workers in those moments, one of which shows Gladys and Arminda making napkins for the hotel with their sewing machines. Capital is accumulation based on the exploitation of labor, and in the BAUEN, the workers invested their labor force directly, to be to recreate the business that employed them, this time in a collective form. Is it self-exploitation? Perhaps, but the issue becomes abstract when one is struggling for survival and staking their future on self-management.


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