Contents page Introduction- page 1 Abstract- page 2 The client- pages 3-8 Proposal- pages 9-13 Potential- pages 14-16 Conclusion- Page 17
Introduction I wanted to keep my concept very personal to me. Being away from home has made me appreciate the special place I come from. With such a troubled history I now realise just how far the people and the places have come. My skills are within PR and events, where I have the most experience. This is the part of our course which I enjoy the most and research is one of my strong points. I am proposing to increase the clientâ€™s exposure outside London and in addition, add to the archive focusing on a particular part of subculture which is often overlooked.
Abstract The Punk movement in Belfast has not been as widely documented as the scenes in New York and London. Music has been and still is a huge part of uniting a divided society. â€œA bridge over troubled waterâ€? event is aimed to celebrate Punk and its impact on Belfast. At this event members of the public will bring their original punk images to be historically archived into the YCA Archive at a social scanning event in the Harp Bar, the place where it all began. live performances from modern Punk artists from Belfast such as Sister Ghost will add to the celebratatory atmosphere. To increase Youth Club Archives collaborative power within the fashion industry I have chosen a fashion sponsor for my event. J.W Anderson is a designer originally from northern Ireland. He is excited by events which encourage people to get outside of London and his collections often break the rules with frilly tops for men as an example, linking directly to the Punk ethos of self expression.
Youth Club Archive is a very unique and valuable organization. We are constantly taking inspiration from the past whether that be through fashion, photography or art to name a few. It is extremely important that it is preserved and that is where Youth Club Archive step in. On their website they state â€œYOUTH CLUB is a not-for-profit organisation working to preserve, share, educate and celebrate youth culture history through a passionate network of photographers and creatives.â€? (http://www.youthclubarchive.com/about/) They were founded in 1997 originally called PYMCA. Started by John Swinstead the publisher of Sleaze Nation magazine, this was a monthly London based fashion and lifestyle magazine. He created PYMCA as a way to preserve the images which he included in the publication.
Current Youth Club Archive have a pop up shop and exhibition in one of London’s most sought after locations, Carnaby street. When we went to visit the exhibition it wasn’t quite what I expected. The shop was a central feature with interesting merchandise , for example mugs with pictures of the queen saying “I hate swans” capturing the fun of Youth Culture. However they only had a few images around the space from the archive and I feel like they can make better use of the space by showing some videos or having images projected to make it a bit more vibrant and help to deliver their brand. Youth Club archive currently are very London centric. This is both a positive and a negative. It can be seen as a unique selling point showcasing Youth Culture in a particular place where it was extremely important, but they have so much potential to expand the archive which I am hoping to achieve through my concept.
When we went to visit Youth Club Archive Jamie explained how an event they did in Leeds was their most successful, “The Museum of Youth Culture project will house a specially commissioned exhibition, ‘Unity through Subculture’, featuring photography, ephemera and oral history. The exhibition will explore the power of fashion, music and self expression to forge a vital common thread amongst young people. Unity though Subculture is a celebration of creative freedom and it’s ability to break down walls in a world of increasing unrest” ( https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/youth-clubs-museumof-youth-culture-unity-through-subculture-tickets-33156048634#) London is often inundated with information about its Subcultural heritage. By taking it somewhere different where there was a particular unique Subculture emerging will in my opinion be very beneficial to Youth Club Archive as a brand, adding to the Archive as well as showcasing them to a new audience. In terms of social media on Facebook they have 7,406 likes which is quite good for being such a small bespoke organisation. In terms of interaction however it is a little more disappointing with each post averaging around 12 likes and not usually any comments. Being image led instagram is the perfect platform for them to showcase what they are about. They only have 2,119 followers and only recently have they been updating regularly averaging around 50 likes per picture. The interaction rate could be better. I think Instagram is a place where they can really sell themselves and reach a younger fan base.
The future of Youth Culture is something which is very intriguing, with our generation being so different to the generations before us. With the explosion of social media and our lives being dominated by technology this means that we need to find new ways to express ourselves. The current economic, social and political climate is one of uncertainty with Donald Trump and Brexit adding to this. The way politicians deal with these situations will directly affect our future and therefore I feel we need Youth Culture more now than ever. It is a way of uniting people through a common interest. In terms of my concept Youth Culture in Belfast is something which I think is invaluable to many of the Young people there. While society has moved on from the troubles, there are still many people living in the shadows of a troubled past.The Warzone Collective, a Punk Venue in Belfast City centre, still unites people from different areas who otherwise may have never met. The phrase “Punk isn’t dead” is something which resonates there. With 108 peace walls located throughout the city, it is still somewhat divided. Belfast ‘peace wall’ between communities felled after 30 years (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/ sep/20/belfast-peace-wall-between-communities-felled-after-30-years) The peace is always fragile and with Brexit potentially disrupting the “Peace Process” who knows what the future holds for Young people there.
Standing up to Terrorism is something which is at the forefront of a lot of peoples minds at the minute following recent attacks on major UK cities such as Manchester and London. Uniting through music is something which has been prevalent, with recent events such as Ariana Grandeâ€™s one love Manchester concert showing how we won`t be afraid. This is very similar to what the Punks in Belfast were doing by not letting fear of what was happening around them stop them from performing. Music activism is set to be a growing trend for 2018 according to WGSN, with artists standing up to what is happening in the world around them. The Punks in Belfast whether they addressed the situation directly or not, without even knowing it they were making a political statement just by doing something different. The future of Youth Club Archive in terms of the current political, economic and social climate is one of celebration, commemorating the past generations and inspiring the future generations through educating them about how past generations dealt with equally turbulent times. I am hoping they will be able to expand their archive worldwide by focusing on particular areas which may have been over looked and thereby increasing their exposure to a wider audience. This is what I am starting with my project and I think it can go a lot further. The fashion industry is one which has been important to many Subcultures. Youth Club Archive and fashion seem to fit seemlessly. Mixing an event with a fashion related sponsor rather than a direct collaboration will allow them more freedom to work further with the brand and will not affect the authenticity of Youth Club Archive as J.W. Anderson will fully understand the brands ethos based on this event.
Proposal My original inspiration came from my Dad, a hippy in late 1960s Belfast when the 30 years of violence known as the troubles was just beginning. They never understood what was happening around them, all they cared about was music. It wasn’t until 1978 when the Young people adopted what they had heard in New York and London ,taking inspiration from bands such as the Ramones, that the Punk scene seemed to explode in Belfast with local bands making it their own by standing up to the unique political situation that was surrounding them. As Terri Hooley states in the movie all about his “Good Vibrations” record label. “When It comes to punk: New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the Reason!” A particular place where Young People needed Youth Culture more than anywhere was Belfast. It was a time when people were told not to leave their houses for fear of another gunshot or bomb explosion and around the city people and their cars and belongings were constantly searched .If my mum was in London in the 80s she would automatically open her bag for searching by nonexistent security guards. Things like this were just second nature in Belfast. The Punk movement provided an element of safety and community which was so desperately needed at that time. “Punk rock is not generally viewed as a force for peace, but in Northern Ireland in the late Seventies the one place you could escape from sectarian violence was at a punk gig.” Good Vibrations’ Terri Hooley: godfather of Belfast punk during the Troubles (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/good-vibrations-terrihooley-godfather-of-belfast-punk-during-the-troubles-qq2ghrd8j00)
The Harp Bar in the city became the place to go. People who went there weren’t afraid of what was happening around them and just wanted to escape reality for a while. The two most famous bands to come out of the Belfast Punk scene where “Stiff Little Fingers” and “The Undertones”, who had very different approaches to the situation. The Undertones chose to ignore the situation completely with songs such as Teenage kicks about ordinary teenage life. “It was political as well it was a challenge, it was different”, however stiff little fingers released songs such as alternative Ulster which dressed the situation directly expressing anger at the situation with lyrics such as “ignore the bores and their laws” but surely the whole point of Punk Gigs was to completely forget about the division and violence?
“The troubles was a violent thirty year conflict framed by a civil rights march in Londonderry on the 5th of October 1968 and the good Friday Agreement on 10th of April 1998. The goal of the unionist and overwhelmingly Protestant majority was to remain part of the United Kingdom. The goal of the nationalist and republican almost exclusively Catholic minority was to be part of the Republic of Ireland. It was a territorial conflict not a religious one. At its heart lay two mutually exclusive visions of national identity and national belonging . In 1998 the people and groups pursuing these rival futures resolved to do so through peaceful and democratic means.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/troubles) 10.
But are we really completely at peace? Look again at the 108 “peace walls” or security barriers dotted across Northern Ireland, with the majority situated in workingclass districts of north and west Belfast. People in these communities support their presence because it makes them feel safer from sectarian attack and rioting. Belfast ‘peace wall’ between communities felled after 30 years (https://www.theguardian. com/uk-news/2017/sep/20/belfast-peace-wall-between-communities-felled-after30-years) Some might say what Northern Ireland has now is not so much ‘peace’ as ‘an absence of conflict’ with a lot of communities still being divided. That is where the Punks come in even in 2017.
The Warzone collective was originally started in 1984 as a Punk performance venue and vegetarian cafe, a place for people to ignore the sectarian violence happening around them ,in one of the few places in Belfast at that time where your religion didn’t matter. It is still open today and holds Punk Gigs weekly. When I spoke to Matt Oficah ,one of the members of the collective, he told me how unique it was to still have this kind of space with many of the places in the UK closing down for newer more pop lead venues. He said the only other place that would still have such unique spaces is Berlin where Youth Culture is still very much alive. He also stated that it is still considered a cross community project encouraging people from all religions to unite through music. With Discover Northern Ireland describing it as “A country with live music at its heart” (https://discovernorthernireland.com/thingsto-do/entertainment/music/music/) these venues are still very much a part of Young Peoples lives .
To celebrate the impact that Punk Rock had and still does have on Belfast I will be holding an event in the Harp Bar in Belfast back where it all started. Called” A Bridge Over Troubled Water”. The main elements of the event are going to be “social scanning” where people will be invited to bring their photos of the Punk Movement in Belfast, adding to the archive. Each image will be projected as it gets scanned in allowing everyone to see the kinds of images that others are bringing. There will also be performances from modern Punk Artists throughout the night such as sister ghost “Tense yet hook filled, Sister Ghosts sound is a breath of fresh air on the garage/punk scene. A blistering meld of Sonic Youth meets Sleater-Kinney and that’s something to be very excited about.” (https://sisterghost. bandcamp.com/) It will be held on the 16th of June 2018 celebrating 40 years since the Undertones teenage Kicks song, the most iconic song to come out of the Punk movement in Belfast, was originally recorded. The scanners which are used by the Black archive in their social scanning events are the canon canoscan LIDE 220 scanners .I will use these scanners for my event as I know they are good quality. There will be four scanners plugged into one mac book. People will then be asked a little bit about the image for example where it was taken what year etc and this will be noted making the event about sharing stories as well as capturing images. To launch the event I will have a social media campaign on instagram, using the #unitedthroughmusic. It will showcase one significant band a week for 40 days to celebrate 40 years of the Belfast Punk scene. I will use videos and images encouraging people to come to the event.
To allow Youth Club Archive to increase its collaborative power within the fashion industry, the event is going to be sponsored by J.W Anderson, a designer originally from a small town in Northern Ireland. His clothing is all about breaking the rules on Gender something which we see emerging in Subcultures. His designs in general speak of things that can be borrowed from a man to a woman and from a woman to a man and this is the ethos from which he creates. In terms of inspiration, different movements within youth subcultures is the key to the J.W Anderson brand stating “You need to know what is happening in the world to be able to evoke a reaction in garment format.” On Off Success stories J.W Anderson (http://www.onoffarchive.tv/success-stories/jwanderson.html) When I researched into JW Anderson I found out that he fitted with my concept beyond my original expectations. When talking about growing up in Northern Ireland he stated “My parents still live there, and I’m really glad that I grew up there. It’s a country that is very personable. People want to help each other even though certain parts of the population work against each other.” The Troubled Past of Fashion Wunderkind Jonathan Anderson (https://fashionunited.uk/news/ people/the-troubled-past-of-fashion-wunderkind-jonathan-anderson/2016072721207) His collections refuse to conform, often criticised for breaking conventions The aforementioned frilly tops for men for example was something which many didn’t understand but he never gave up much like the Punks who didn’t let fear stop them from performing. In 2016 he curated an art exhibition called “Disobedient Bodies” at the Hepworth Gallery in Yorkshire.He Stated “Im glad to be putting creative energy into something that is about getting people out of London.” Anderson explains “ we are not trapped. Go out and there are amazing things to be seen”. ‘It is quite petrifying’: designer JW Anderson on his first exhibition (https:// www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/mar/10/quite-petrifying-jw-anderson-hepworthwakefield-disobedient-bodies) The event will be accompanied by a social media campaign celebrating forty years of Punk Rock in Belfast. It will showcase a significant band a week for 40 days to celebrate the 40 years, as a way of building excitement and encouraging younger people to come to the event to learn more about an important part of Northern Irelands history. I will be creating a promotional film showcasing musics impact on Belfast to promote the event further and to a wider audience.
Potential The potential for the event in Belfast I think is huge. With the 40th anniversary of iconic moments in 2018 such as the start of Terri Hooleys good vibrations label, responsible for signing bands like the Undertones when no one else would come to Belfast to do it. The timing seems perfect. Belfasts past for a lot of people is always a sensitive subject I think its important to highlight the Punk movement as it has done so much for the Young people of Belfast both then and now. As Belfast history isnâ€™t necessarily widely known it has a lot of opportunities to tour. Places that still have a strong Youth Culture such as Berlin would be perfect showcasing how strong Youth Culture can be. Another interesting place we could take it as an event is Czechoslovakia. When I spoke to Terri Hooley on the phone he said that he was going to show the film and do a talk there. When I researched further I realised that in Czechoslovakia the Punks had to stand up to their own unique political situation as well. The tough communist rule during the 1970s brought censorship of songs and even jail time for people who were considered to be non conformist. This meant that Punks had to stand up and despite being dangerous the Punk scene actually exploded there much like the scene in Belfast. Troubled times throughout the world are not over so I hope this event can inspire the future generation to not let division or violence stop them from expressing themselves.
Measuring success K.P.I- Key performance indicators
http://www.youthclubarchive.com/about/ https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/youth-clubs-museum-of-youthculture-unity-through-subculture-tickets-33156048634# https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/20/belfast-peacewall-between-communities-felled-after-30-years https://sisterghost.bandcamp.com/ https://discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/entertainment/ music/music/ http://www.onoffarchive.tv/success-stories/jw-anderson.html https://fashio nunited.uk/news/people/the-troubled-past-offashion-wunderkind-jonathan-anderson/2016072721207 https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/mar/10/quitepetrifying-jw-anderson-hepworth-wakefield-disobedient-bodies