Why have Arts Council England (ACE) published data and a report about how culture can, apparently, help regenerate high streets now? Particularly given that the report does not even consider the devastating effects of COVID-19 on our everyday lives and, of course, our high streets.
The report, produced by social and economic research consultants Wavehill and entitled Arts and Place Shaping: Evidence Review, was written in May 2020 (when COVID-19 was reaching its first peak) but only published a few days ago.
Street art is an essential part of the Creative Class narrative. Every city has ‘up-and-coming’ areas clad from shop shutters to back alleys, sides of dilapidated buildings to shifty-looking subways, in what has become known as street art. This article argues that the now almost globally ubiquitous street art ‘movement’ has evolved from its roots in class and race conflict and anti-gentrification activism to become a perfect foil for neoliberal capitalism, forming a ‘gritty’ yet colourful backdrop to the Creative City ‘New Bohemias’ that seem to pop-up in every city, everywhere on the planet: a perfect tool in gentrifiers’ artwashing arsenals.… READ MORE
This is a copy of my book chapter which was published earlier this year in Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice (2018). The book is edited by Cara Courage and Anita McKeown and is published by Routledge. It is available to buy here. Thanks to the editors for permitting its reproduction here.… READ MORE
This is a film about V&A’s crass exploitation of council housing following its “acquisition” if some pieces of Robin Hood Gardens in the Labour controlled London borough of Tower Hamlets – a once iconic council housing estate that is being demolished to make way for luxury apartments. It was part of my keynote given as part of Lancashire Arts Exchange on 8th November 2018.… READ MORE
This is the third section of the first chapter of my as yet unpublished book. See previous posts for earlier sections…
CHANGING PLACES – FROM OLD BOHEMIAS TO NEW BOHEMIAS
HIPSTERS: GENTRIFICATION’S LEECHES AND PARASITES
Today’s hipsters were once only to be found in enclaves such as Paris’ third arrondissement, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, London’s Shoreditch and Hackney, as well as other parts of cities like Stockholm, Berlin, etc. … READ MORE
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