Raising Voices: Is Colegio Privado Martin Baussen a Real School in Spain?

Being a teenager is not easy, and it becomes even more difficult when one has to navigate the treacherous world around them. In Netflix’s ‘Raising Voices,’ we follow the stories of three teenage girls who discover that abuse and violence exist all around them, and if they don’t speak out about it, the abusers will continue to flourish, and the victims will suffer. The conflict brews especially due to a girl named Alma who refuses to sit in silence and let an abuser go by his daily life while the girl who suffered at his hands continues to see her life ruined. To bring the truth to light means Alma has to expose the practices in her own school.

The show touches upon relevant issues and asks the audience to assess their own surroundings. Because it hits so close to home, questions about the reality of the nature of the characters and the locations in the story arise. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Fictional Martin Baussen School Highlights a Jarring Reality

‘Raising Voices’ is a fictional series based on the novel of the same name by Miguel Sáez Carral. The entire premise of the show has been made up, even though it is set in the backdrop of a real event: the 2018 women’s strike in Spain. The story focuses on real issues, especially sexual abuse and violence in teenagers, but it does all of that in a fictional setting. The Martin Baussen school is a made-up place that was created solely to serve the plot.

The series is set in Madrid, and the capital city of Spain served as the backdrop for filming the series. To make the story feel more real to the audience, the crew set camp in various locations throughout the city, and the scenes regarding the school were also filmed in a real location instead of a set, though certain scenes may have been filmed in made-up sets to ease the filming process. For the outdoor scenes, however, the crew stuck to the rule of employing as many real-life locations as possible, be it the local parks, libraries, and shops.

The scenes regarding the school were filmed with special care because a good deal of them focus on bullying and sexual abuse and students ending up in dangerous situations. It makes sense that the show didn’t use a real school as a reference as it could have led them into all sorts of legal trouble, considering the scandal Martin Baussen school ends up in when the truth about one of its teachers comes to light. Because even though the school’s name is fictional and the location is a patchwork of different places, the issues raised by the series are entirely true.

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