Artists : Shock troops of Brixtons gentrification

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by not-bono-ever, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Space/time supply indicators near to zero

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  2. keithy

    keithy or queefy

    Art isn't to blame for gentrification but artists have a part to play. We have a responsibility to be critical in our decisions to take on opportunities.
    teuchter likes this.
  3. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    It's not a particularly original thesis, see for example deutsche and ryan's 1984 article 'the fine art of gentrification', with a slight twist
    not-bono-ever likes this.
  4. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Reminds me of some.quip on rural gentrification, first you get the hippies then you get the yuppies.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  5. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    'Art' has purpose. I'm a bit surprised the article is so focused on art as protest, which at least chimes with a lot of local sentiment.

    There's more glaring examples of the use of 'art' in the social redefinition of the area. Personally I'm not a big fan of stereotype gentrification via art for commerce or art for careerism, both shown in the picture taken from this puff piece.

  6. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Dodgy geezer swilling vapid lager

    I don't think that old model of gentrification really applies to modern London to be honest. It's based on the idea that the artists will be the first people to choose to live in what is otherwise considered something of a middle-class 'no-go' area. Maybe you can see that having happened in some areas of Brooklyn or Harlem for example. In London now though? I don't think those areas really exist - the middle classes coming in are going to look at what they can afford where, not whether there are artists living there.
    ska invita likes this.
  7. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Space/time supply indicators near to zero

    Its a bit of a shit article really- nothing new or provoking in it apart from some Brix anecdotes to pad it out.
  8. keithy

    keithy or queefy

    The real issue with art and gentrification is artists being commissioned to cover up what is happening or make it look pretty.



  9. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It's a story that's been told many, many times but this particular article offers little, if any, insight. Had it focused on the street artist who willingly took a fee to paint the shutters of an estate agent in Coldharbour Lane, then there could have been an interesting discussion. Similarly, the writer could have dug deeper into the portraits of dead hip hops stars painted on the Hip Hop Chip Shop bar, which is - I believe - owned by an estate agent.
  10. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    there probably are areas that the young and adventurous well off aren't interested in, but these days they're more likely to be white flight 'burbs than the vibrant, grimy innercity. And the safe n dull areas, eg when Clapham gentrified it went from grimy to nappy valley without ever being particularly 'vibrant'.

    Everyone has a budget, some innercity areas are just grimy, others are vibrant as well and Foxtons need Brixton to keep its vibrant reputation in good order. That is, after all (along with proximity to the tube), what drew almost every local resident on this thread to the area in the first place, no?
    salem likes this.
  11. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    Gentrification has been going on a long time in London but now it's different because the property spike is extreme.

    In Brixton since '95 you're looking at a 500% domestic property price increase for example. That escalation changes the landscape of gentrification. I'm not sure it's what we call gentrification anymore but more blunt economics and raw market forces with a weak council nulled by austerity.
  12. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    No - I was fucking born in Brixton! :mad:
    Riklet, ViolentPanda, tim and 3 others like this.
  13. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Some very hip very young film makers came along to film at the volunteer day at the playground today (down the road here in LJ where we're just on the cusp of getting our own cocktail bar as the wave of luxury flats spreads up Coldharbour lane). They're making an art installation for a group show about gentrification they said.
    Maybe we should have chased them out with our shovels and pickaxes as harbingers of doom. :hmm:
    Gramsci and editor like this.
  14. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    Trying to shift the blame for gentrification onto a few artists when everyone knows that it's property developers, estate agents, the council and their ilk is just ridiculous.
    oryx, Gramsci, Riklet and 5 others like this.
  15. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Tbf, the area was noted as being "in motion" as far back as 2011.

    A walk through ‘in motion’ Loughborough Junction, south London
    bimble likes this.
  16. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Someone said today and I think they're right, the amount of railways criss crossing our little patch here, that makes LJ much harder to prettify / gentrify. Slows things down at least.
  17. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Mind you it makes a change from people blaming me for running this site and Buzz, even though a large chunk of the feedback I've had since the beginning is people complaining that I'm too 'negative' about Brixton.
    RoyReed likes this.
  18. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I went to an interesting talk the other day that was partly about Leake Street - unless you're a Londoner you probably won't know it, but it's a big railway arch area that's a free graffiti zone. No bars, anyone can turn up with a can and put up what they like.

    Since this has started, it's become much more popular as a destination for tourists, school art class trips, street artists and so on. Now Network Rail want to commercialise it, keeping the "street art" element somehow as decoration (i.e. nice pretty middle-class-friendly murals).

    Exactly how they imagine this is going to happen escapes me, but the whole talk did point out how "street art" can be a really active tool of gentrification, allowing people to think that they're not really just destroying what was there before, they're just properly appreciating it or something. I can understand people in the scene reacting really negatively to that - they realise that commodifying it means killing the culture it came from, it's nothing to do with them any more.
    snowy_again, keithy and editor like this.
  19. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Commissioned street art on an estate agent's in Coldharbour Lane still sits mighty uncomfortably with me.
    FridgeMagnet likes this.
  20. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    Not meaning to be picky, but there's no way that's street art. It's marketing pure and simple.
  21. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Well, the work was done by someone who calls himself a 'street artist.' But yes, it is indeed marketing of the (lol) 'edgy' kind.
    RoyReed likes this.
  22. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Its inherent in how Capitalism works. To take something and turn it into a commodity.

    Why I don't think artists are the shock troops of gentrification.
  23. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I think everyone's making it too complicated.

    The street art, and the fact that it changes over time, makes Brixton vibrant and edgy. Without this vibrant fashionabilty Foxtons etc would have no dream to sell. After all they are selling not just a flat, but also a lifetsyle "solution" that the customer (victim) will be attracted by.

    BTW I went to the Friday night soiré at 336 Brixton Road launching Anna Minton's book "Big Capital" which is all about regeneration/gentrification (hyper-gentrification is was said in the meeting).

    Wonderful event - about 100 people turned up. 4 good presentations on the issue, and 45 minutes of questions. Anna Minton quipped that it was a room full of hipsters - which proved to be the case, as when the anti-regeneration networking finished those who wanted to go to the pub ended up drinking and dining al fresco in the cobbled space outside the Crown and Anchor and Booma.

    This was a bit of an eye-opener for me, as I would not normally go down there because of the cost (£4.50/pint minimum). However the beer was excellent and the company congenial.

    Is it permitted to be entertained in a hipster spot after buying a book on gentrification in South London?
    lang rabbie, Riklet and editor like this.
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

  25. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I noticed they avoided me. Whilst they were following everyone else around asking them to be filmed. Don't now what that was about.
  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Another thing is that the "alternative community" are only half the story. The other half is the Afro Carribbean community here and the Asian community in Shoreditch. They kept the area alive in the bad times. Articles like this don't blame them for making the area more "vibrant" and thus bringing gentrification in there wake. If they did they would rightly be heavily criticised.

    I agree it's property developers etc who are to blame.

    London had a falling population in 70s and early 80s. It was Thatcher's " Big Bang" the deregulated the City that kicked off gentrification. London became a financial centre for Capitalism. Made it a international City.
  27. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    You ain't vibrant enough, mate! :D
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    London’s exodus offers a stark warning to other UK cities: your culture is at risk | Kate Hardy and Tom Gillespie

    Read two articles relevant to this thread this week.

    This one shows how artists etc are pushed out of London to find the same problem in other cities. The answer is more social housing and using planning to protect communities from Capital.
  29. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The second article is a case study from Bristol. Group of people help to set up community orientated arts workspace centre in area with problems. Help improve area. Property prices increase partly due to there efforts and now find themselves under threat.

    Stokes Croft: the saga of one British neighborhood reveals the perverse injustices of gentrification — University of Leicester

    So I would say it's not artists who are the shock troops of gentrification. It's capitalism that's the problem. Capitalism in the shape of property developers is parasitical on community efforts.
  30. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Both articles show the real problem is lack of democratic control over planning and local economy. Neo Liberalism is so ingrained as common sense, its just how the world works etc.

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