I got involved with Beeston as it is local to me - living in Ilkeston it is a town which is close to my home. I have found it so interesting (and inspiring!) to see how you have transformed a local town to make it more engaging to the public and more attractive to visitors.
I am doing a study in urban culture and urban space, including how street art and skateboarding can alter relationships between spaces and people. I wanted to find out more about the projects you are doing in Beeston as they are great case studies for my research. I wanted to explore these activities as I believe we are, or should be, our own ‘producers of culture’ - just as much as we are consumers. People in cities/towns should be able to create their own culture just as much as living in someone else’s.
My hypothesis is that ‘Urban culture’ - whilst not easily defined - can be characterised by how it influences the public, organisations, businesses, charities etc. Beeston is a great example of how ‘Urban culture’ is being used to involve people to help create a sense of belonging in the area. Projects like ‘Street Art’ gives a sense of power to society - able to change perceptions of space. Involving local artists and young people really highlights how these projects transform local areas - facilitating a platform for culture, social interaction, and ownership.
Moving forward, I can envisage that Beeston ‘Urban Culture’ projects could easily be transferred into surrounding areas. Inspiring the public to get engaged with their own space Beeston ‘Urban Culture’ projects are really uplifting – activities that give people a sense of ownership. I'd love to see something like this happen in Ilkeston.
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