BBC News – The secret colonies of graffiti artists and skateboarders

BBC News – The secret colonies of graffiti artists and skateboarders

There’s a furore around a graffiti-festooned, skater hangout under threat on London’s Southbank. These graffiti and skating ‘colonies’ are all over the UK.

Saunter past the Southbank Centre on a Saturday, and there’s always a buzz at the “undercroft”.

The spot isn’t a designated skate or graffiti park, but one that has grown organically since it was discovered by skateboarders in the 1970s.

Skateboarders see it as their spiritual home. Graffiti artists love the sheltered space.

Elsewhere there is often a zero-tolerance approach to what many see as anti-social behaviour – graffiti on someone else’s property is usually criminal damage and skating is often discouraged because of potential danger to bystanders. But the Southbank’s concrete area is, broadly speaking, a tolerated space.

Spectators can often be found by the spot – soaking up the activity as an urban, modern-day arts foil to the high culture in the centre.

(Via BBC News Magazine)

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