Long Live Southbank: skateboarding, citizenship and the city
‘The Undercroft’ underneath Queen Elizabeth’s Hall on London’s Southbank is one of London’s best known skate spots and plans, released in 2013, to fill the space with retail outlets and relocate the skateboarders to an alternative site were met with fierce opposition by the skateboarding community. In response, the group ‘Long Live Southbank’ was founded to campaign for the site’s preservation. This essay will focus on the Long Live Southbank’s 17 month campaign, asking why the local community were so opposed to the relocation of ‘the Undercroft’ to a purpose built site. By analysing a range of different media produced by Long Live Southbank this essay will look at the phenomenology of skateboarding and how the act of skateboarding affects the individual’s lived experience, arguing that the skateboarders’ resistance to relocation was tied in with their desire to be included in the ongoing production of public space, and therefore deeply embedded within their own individual and collective senses of citizenship.
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