Today saw the beginning of dissertation research. Bru, the kids and I spent the day hunting for local graffiti to start the photo ethnography chapter of my research. This wasn’t random, I had done some research on the Internet and found Ntrprnrs site. They worked in partnership with the highways agency to create the hall of fame in stoke on trent. As it happens this is really close to where I live, so we kept that till last and went to Hanley first (mersey street, albion street and forest park skate park).
On the way to the hall of fame we stopped at black horse lane in Hanley, here we got some more pics but on further exploration we found a disused workshop. The graffiti inside knocked me ill, it was racist to the extreme with homophobic graffiti too. There was mixed up imagery, whites and blacks uniting against other ethnicity’s. Extreme violence the only answer. I was surprised at this and the room felt wrong, I felt wrong to be there so i took some pictures and left; this certainly wasn’t the type of graffiti I expected to come across! I wont be publishing those pictures to the web, in my opinion they serve no purpose. I only took them to illustrate the use of graffiti by marginalised subcultures and I doubt they will see the pages of my dissertation either. eugh!
Anyway moving on! Forest Park was really good with a mixture of graffiti and culture jamming (which i was pleased to see since that was what got me interested in this project to begin with!) But the best experience of the day was reserved for the Hall of Fame! that place is amazing! Its legal walls so the guys who were there painting were chatty and friendly, filling me in on graffiti terminology, the motivation behind some of the graffiti and inviting us back the day after to see more artists as it is Ntrprnrs 5th birthday. I also bumped in to another Keele student who’s doing a graffiti project for his masters so gave him my email and set to arrange meeting up again, we have the same supervisor too :). All in all it was a great day, we were welcomed and the art work is amazing! Back today(Sunday) to see some more, Izzy (the 4 year old) is taking her crayons and doing some drawing while we are there, she was quite taken by the Idea it seems! I will update with pictures and a blog tomorrow. Nx