Culture's a funny business, sometimes other people have a different idea about what it is all about. The Southbank is the officially designated centre of London Culture (and therefore UK Culture).
This is what the Southbank website has to say: (http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/about-us)
- Southbank Centre passionately believes the arts have the power to transform lives. We also believe that the arts must be available to all of us – and this lies at the heart of all we do.
- Southbank Centre is a world-famous arts centre on the South Bank of the Thames. Created in 1951 for the Festival of Britain, Southbank Centre draws on its heritage as a festival site, with art and activities inside and outside. We encourage everyone to become involved in the arts in new and creative ways.
- The undercroft of the Southbank Centre has pretty much been the beating heart of London skateboarding for around 40+ years now. With a love hate relationship between the building’s owners and skateboarders (Brilliantly documented in the documentary “Rollin Through The Decades” by Winstan Whitter). The area set aside for skateboarders comprises of a variety of ledges, banks and a set of stairs. There is also a railing to stop tourists from wandering a bit too close and getting in the way too.
And not just skateboarders but street artists too. Every inch of the undercroft is covered in graffiti. Some of it is good, some of it is rubbish. That doesn't matter too much because someone else will paint over it before the next full moon.
overheard conversation today
husband: they're breaking the law is what they're doing
wife: no, they're allowed to do it here
husband: that's no good, it gives them the idea they can do it anywhere
wife: so what
husband: well, next they'll be doing it round our house
The Southbank is going to be developed. The undercroft will be gone if the developers have their way. www.Longlivesouthbank.com are campaigning to protect the undercroft. Imaginatively they had tried to get the area recognised as a village green. Yesterday that was knocked back.
Billy Bragg has a point of view: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/31/south-bank-skateboarders-wrong-veto-community Not everyone agrees. You can't move history they say