Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

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

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Webb



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This article sets out key findings of an interdisciplinary Arts and HumanitiesResearch Council (AHRC) funded project that uses Long Live Southbank’s(LLSB) successful campaign to retain London’s Southbank Undercroft forsubcultural use – skateboarding, BMXing, graffiti art, etc. – as a case study togenerate discussions about young people’s experiences and engagementswith (sub)cultural heritage and political activism. At the heart of this inquiry isthe perceived contradiction between the communicative practices ofsubcultures and social protest movements: the former typically understood tobe internally oriented and marked by strong boundary maintenance, and thelatter, to be successful, to be externally oriented to a diverse range of publics.In explaining the skaters/campaigner’s negotiation of this contradiction, welook to the inclusive and everyday concepts of ‘inhabitant knowledge’ [Ingold,T., 2000. The perception of the environment: essays in livelihood, dwelling andskill. London: Routledge], ‘vernacular creativity’ [Burgess, J., 2009. Remediatingvernacular creativity: photography and cultural citizenship in the Flickrphotosharing 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 frameworksfor thinking about the political nature of young people’s bodily knowledgeand experiences, and the implications of this for the communication of(sub)cultural value.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ruiz P, Snelson T, Madgin R, Webb D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cultural Studies

Year: 2019

Pages: ePub ahead of print

Online publication date: 05/06/2019

Acceptance date: 01/03/2019

Date deposited: 24/07/2019

ISSN (print): 0950-2386

ISSN (electronic): 1466-4348

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09502386.2019.1621916


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name