You will know when it exists -- Obscure journalism direct from our man on the ground.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Long Live Southbank: A Photo-Journalism Essay

The Undercroft on the Southbank evolved over many years into a hangout for London's skate community.

Now the skaters are getting the general public to sign a petition, because the powers that be have put in a planning application to turn the unplanned skatepark into a commercial space.

The Southbank Centre is currently running a FESTIVAL OF NEIGHBOURHOOD, which I can't help but feel is more than slightly hypocritical. Skating has become a staple of the Southbank neighbourhood: a free show for the tourists and a spot where recreation is free: a rarity in London.

But what do I know? Clearly the local community benefits more from Yoko Ono's Meltdown...

...Ohh and giant murals, thank god for giant murals. Plus there are plenty of well known chain establishments where you can 'eat, drink and shop'. 

Spot the odd one out.

I used to skate. I would spend entire days out on the streets and I've never felt as connected and tuned in to the goings on of my neighbourhood's street-life as in those days. And I believe that having a community of skaters keeping a watchful eye over the area's goings-on, can only be good for the health of the real neighbourhood.

If you don't understand why, maybe you should look into Jane Jacob's theories on natural surveillance.

So if you feel like me sign the petition, either in its physical form if you're a Londoner, or here if you aint.



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