Skateboarding is an emergent cultural tradition in the seaside town of Portrush – this is significant in-and-of-itself, but especially so as a grassroots alternative to the sectarian carve-up of cultural expression in the deeply divided society of Northern Ireland. Skateboarding is a core strand of the town’s own sense of place, but it has been consistently marginalised by local government and private developers. In collaboration with third-sector partner CAUS (the Causeway Association of Urban Sports) and the wider Portrush skateboarding community, this project intervenes to challenge this engrained disregard, and to develop understanding of the value of skaters as a Creative Community here. The project makes use of a creative research methodology, for which the video archive of local skater and videographer Slaine Browne is a key resource. We invite skateboarders to view this material and then re-imagine their creative practice in key locations in the town. The videos produced from this process, counterposing old and new footage, spark wider dialogue around the skateboarders’ use of public space.
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