Xplore playToon

Tyneside is one big playground and PlayToon 2012 is out to represent skaters, BMXers and free-runners over the weekend of 18th-19th May 2012.
Urban Games, Digital Deekies, 4-Sight, Northumbria Uni and Streetphire have hooked up with the Holy Biscuit Gallery in Shieldfield to organise the venue, exhibtion and action. We will be showing photography, video, cartoons and maps from local street sports scenes with ramps and space for live action. Maybe you are only starting out or have a stash of photos from back in the day: PlayToon is there to show off your world, roots and culture.
This blog will keep you posted on what we are up to, how to get involved and explore the place of street sports in the city.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

"Our space has strange effects.....

....for one thing it unleashes desire" (Lefebvre, 1974). In this case the desire to skate Grey's Monument in the centre of Newcastle. For however briefly the monument is a skate spot, and, for that time, the most constructive use of this urban space. In 2002 Philadelphia's City council tried to deter skaters from the long-treasured Love Park spot in their city centre, only to face a wave of protest and realise that the skaters were " the shock troops of gentrification" , as a writer called Ocean Howell put it. The skaters "breathed life" into that city plaza. £160 million has been spent restoring Newcastle's Grainger Town; gentrification of buildings yes, but maybe the fleeting presence of skaters at the Monument hints at other possibilities, not just bricks and mortar. Earl Grey might look down approvinlgy

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