SEGOVIA— September 19th, 2019, an IE student stumbled upon a rather unexpected piece of graffiti, which read “IE Students Go Home/Stop Gentrification”. This threw the IE Segovia student body into a frenzy. The graffiti became not only a frequent spot for Instagram posing but a hot topic of conversation. This graffiti posed many questions—How do locals really feel about IE? Do IE students really stimulate Segovia’s economy? Over the course of 2 months, The Stork’s investigative journalism team, the Spotlight, delved into these questions. In the coming weeks, the Spotlight team will answer the questions of IE’s effect on Segovia.

Who are we?

Led by Ecab Amor, assistant editor in chief of the Stork in Segovia, and Francia Morales, editor of the Spotlight team, we delve into complex issues pertaining to the IE Segovia community. Through multi-month investigations, collecting data, conducting interviews, and connecting the facts, we explain these issues as thoroughly as possible. 

Our first investigation targeted the graffiti that rocked IE Segovia. The Spotlight team looked into who painted it, the merits of their claims of “gentrification”, and IE students’ wider impact on Segovia. We’re extremely excited by the fruits of our first investigation and look forward to publishing our findings over the next 3 weeks.

What’s going on with this graffiti?

On September 19th, the first anti-IE graffiti appeared around Segovia. In the following days, as the city painted over existing graffiti, more and more appeared all around the old town, including by Casa de Los Picos, Correos, and by Puerta de San Cebrián, a mere 150m from IE. As of the publishing date, only a few tags remain uncovered, mostly in secluded back-alleys such as by El Saxo.

As seen on the map, the locations of these tags appear focused on visibility to the public and to IE students. The tag by Casa de Los Picos, placed en route to Plaza Mayor on a major tourist street, aimed to garner as much attention as possible among tourists and locals alike.

Other tags had a similar goal in mind, but for IE students in particular. By spraying in locations such as by Destino, El Saxo, and IE University, the authors of this graffiti probably assumed IE students would see these tags and react to them.

By the end of September, these tags stopped appearing, but tags of the same style and colour with different messages continue to appear to this day.

What are we investigating? 

The Spotlight team focused on three different aspects of this story: IE University’s student body’s economic impact, social impact, and those responsible for the graffiti.

To answer the economic facet of the story, we used housing data from the city of Segovia and interviews with landlords to construct an analysis of IE’s economic effect on Segovia. This will be the first instalment of our three-part series.

To analyze IE’s social role in Segovia, we interviewed local residents from all walks of life to gauge the community’s opinion of us. Many of these locals have regular contact with IE students in their roles as cashiers, taxi drivers, and more. We will reveal our findings on this topic in our second article.

To finish the series, we will draw a broad conclusion on IE’s role in Segovia, discussing who wrote this graffiti and what that means for IE students. 

These stories will drop weekly on the Stork’s webpage. Stay tuned to keep updated!