‘Look at What We Made’: communicating subcultural value on London’s Southbank

Ruiz, P., Snelson, T., Madgin, R. and Webb, D. (2020) ‘Look at What We Made’: communicating subcultural value on London’s Southbank. Cultural Studies, 34(3), pp. 392-417. (doi: 10.1080/09502386.2019.1621916)

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This article sets out key findings of an interdisciplinary Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project that uses Long Live Southbank’s (LLSB) successful campaign to retain London’s Southbank Undercroft for subcultural use – skateboarding, BMXing, graffiti art, etc. – as a case study to generate discussions about young people’s experiences and engagements with (sub)cultural heritage and political activism. At the heart of this inquiry is the perceived contradiction between the communicative practices of subcultures and social protest movements: the former typically understood to be internally oriented and marked by strong boundary maintenance, and the latter, to be successful, to be externally oriented to a diverse range of publics. In explaining the skaters/campaigner’s negotiation of this contradiction, we look to the inclusive and everyday concepts of ‘inhabitant knowledge’ [Ingold, T., 2000. The perception of the environment: essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill. London: Routledge], ‘vernacular creativity’ [Burgess, J., 2009. Remediating vernacular creativity: photography and cultural citizenship in the Flickr photosharing network. In: T. Edensor, D. Leslie, S. Millington, and N. Rantisi, eds. Spaces of vernacular creativity: rethinking the cultural economy. London: Routledge, 116–126] and ‘affective intelligence’ [Van Zoonen, L., 2004. Imagining the fan democracy. European journal of communication, 19 (1), 39–52]. In eschewing the exclusionary and contestatory language of (post)subcultural and spatial theories, this article proposes new frameworks for thinking about the political nature of young people’s bodily knowledge and experiences, and the implications of this for the communication of (sub)cultural value.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Madgin, Professor Rebecca
Authors: Ruiz, P., Snelson, T., Madgin, R., and Webb, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Cultural Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1466-4348
Published Online:05 June 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Cultural Studies 34(3):392-417
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
671981AHRC Youth Heritage Stage 2 bidRebecca MadginArts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/M006158/1SPS - URBAN STUDIES