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Skateboarding, gentle activism, and the animation of public space: CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture at The Bentway

Skateboarding, gentle activism, and the animation of public space: CITE – A Celebration of... This paper examines the interplay of leisure, activism and the animation of public space by exploring CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture, an art installation and pop-up skate park featuring skateable sculptures constructed in commemoration of Toronto skateboarder Justin Bokma. CITE, which took place in the summer of 2018, deliberately transformed The Bentway, a new public space and programming platform in Toronto which has transformed the underside of the Gardiner Expressway into a gathering place for city inhabitants, into a temporary destination where skateboarders engaged in activist, educational, and arts and cultural practices to situate the act of skateboarding within the broader context of urban placemaking. Drawing on a variety of empirical materials (e.g., interviews, videos, social media, promotional materials, press releases, observations), this case study seeks to understand how so-called ‘gentle activism’ animates public space and advances inclusive placemaking. Findings show that, through gentle activism, CITE underscored (1) the salience of arts and aesthetics in advocating for skateboarding, (2) inclusivity of programming to facilitate interaction between skateboarders and the non-skateboarding public, (3) the utilisation of programming to amplify the activist message, and (4) intentional efforts to change perceptions of skateboarders. The case reveals a successful alternative to defensive placemaking efforts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leisure Studies Taylor & Francis

Skateboarding, gentle activism, and the animation of public space: CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture at The Bentway

Skateboarding, gentle activism, and the animation of public space: CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture at The Bentway

Leisure Studies , Volume 40 (1): 15 – Jan 2, 2021

Abstract

This paper examines the interplay of leisure, activism and the animation of public space by exploring CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture, an art installation and pop-up skate park featuring skateable sculptures constructed in commemoration of Toronto skateboarder Justin Bokma. CITE, which took place in the summer of 2018, deliberately transformed The Bentway, a new public space and programming platform in Toronto which has transformed the underside of the Gardiner Expressway into a gathering place for city inhabitants, into a temporary destination where skateboarders engaged in activist, educational, and arts and cultural practices to situate the act of skateboarding within the broader context of urban placemaking. Drawing on a variety of empirical materials (e.g., interviews, videos, social media, promotional materials, press releases, observations), this case study seeks to understand how so-called ‘gentle activism’ animates public space and advances inclusive placemaking. Findings show that, through gentle activism, CITE underscored (1) the salience of arts and aesthetics in advocating for skateboarding, (2) inclusivity of programming to facilitate interaction between skateboarders and the non-skateboarding public, (3) the utilisation of programming to amplify the activist message, and (4) intentional efforts to change perceptions of skateboarders. The case reveals a successful alternative to defensive placemaking efforts.

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References (47)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1466-4496
eISSN
0261-4367
DOI
10.1080/02614367.2019.1684980
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper examines the interplay of leisure, activism and the animation of public space by exploring CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture, an art installation and pop-up skate park featuring skateable sculptures constructed in commemoration of Toronto skateboarder Justin Bokma. CITE, which took place in the summer of 2018, deliberately transformed The Bentway, a new public space and programming platform in Toronto which has transformed the underside of the Gardiner Expressway into a gathering place for city inhabitants, into a temporary destination where skateboarders engaged in activist, educational, and arts and cultural practices to situate the act of skateboarding within the broader context of urban placemaking. Drawing on a variety of empirical materials (e.g., interviews, videos, social media, promotional materials, press releases, observations), this case study seeks to understand how so-called ‘gentle activism’ animates public space and advances inclusive placemaking. Findings show that, through gentle activism, CITE underscored (1) the salience of arts and aesthetics in advocating for skateboarding, (2) inclusivity of programming to facilitate interaction between skateboarders and the non-skateboarding public, (3) the utilisation of programming to amplify the activist message, and (4) intentional efforts to change perceptions of skateboarders. The case reveals a successful alternative to defensive placemaking efforts.

Journal

Leisure StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2021

Keywords: Built environment; animating public space; defensive architecture; recreation

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