Skateboarders Mobilize As Art Center Tries To Reclaim Cavern
Two centers of culture are in conflict on the banks of the Thames in London. One is the world renowned South Bank Center of the Arts, with four resident orchestras, including the London Philharmonic. It also has conservatories, the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The other cultural landmark is the Undercroft, a dark, concrete cavern, covered in graffiti, that lies beneath the Arts Center and looks out on to the Thames. It's the birthplace and temple of British skate boarding. For forty uninterrupted years it has been hallowed ground for those who regard skate boarding as an art form every bit as legitimate as anything performed in the concert halls above. But now the South Bank Arts Center is trying to force the skateboarders to a different location, so the Undercroft can be leased to restaurants. And the skate boarders are mobilizing to resist.