Learn all about what Magos en Madrid is and why people should be a part of it. It’s a bit of an obscure club so we’ll have to provide some background on what it is, who the members are, and what they do. If you’re looking for something that will give you insight into the world outside your window and help make life just a little more interesting, then this is one for you!
Magos en Madrid was founded in 1979 by David Bakalar. The club’s mission statement is “To bring together people with diverse interests who also share several common goals, such as discussion and cooperation.” They meet at least once a month in Barcelona or Madrid and are very social events where cultural exchange can happen. There’s a separate newsletter for members and the general public.
The members of Magos en Madrid represent a wide range of backgrounds, interests, and professions. They come from all parts of Spain and have been instrumental in developing new cultural exchanges in Spain, as well as promoting the new routes opening up to places such as Germany and France. They also help each other with their personal projects. Just recently they’ve started working with British artist David Gillespie on his project “Museum of our Future,” which encourages people to leave an object behind them when they travel to different parts of the world so that it can be used to inspire future generations.
The club has its own space at the Magos en Madrid building, an old monastery that they’ve renovated. It offers a small theater, a computer room, and a library. These resources help bring in many of their guests including artists, writers, anthropologists, philosophers and more. Speakers for their events include members of other clubs such as The London Speculative Society and The Bristol Visionary Society.
Another fun fact about Magos en Madrid is that they have other branches around the world! There are Magos groups in places across the globe like Detroit and New York City (though their clubs are not related to each other). This makes for a global network where members can share ideas with people from all over the world.
Membership is free and open to all who are interested in anything related to Magos en Madrid: dead languages, foreign cultures, visual arts, science fiction, art history and a host of other topics that interest their members. The members are also diversified in that they come from all walks of life and backgrounds. They are not just interested in fantasy or science fiction but many others as well.
Below is an excerpt from the first meeting of a Magos Madrid chapter that took place in 1979. While this was written by David Bakalar, he has since passed away and the Magos en Madrid club is now run by his daughter.
“The idea for ‘Magos en Madrid’ was born during a conversation I had with my friend Donato Sancho, a distinguished scholar in Paleography of the Middle Ages. As a contemporary of S. Luis Gonzaga, Donato knew all about the great library that once stood in the castle of Squillace but was destroyed during the earthquake of 1663. The idea developed immediately: to gather together people with diverse interests who also share several common goals, such as discussion and cooperation. The first meeting took place at Donato’s home in Madrid on February 3rd, 1979. There were six persons in attendance, four Spanish and two English—the first Magos en Madrid chapter! (The Spanish members are: José Luis López, Manuel Muñoz, Rafael Trigo and Juan-Luis Ulloa).