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The People's Court

Part 1 Project 2015
Alastair Johnson
Oxford Brookes University, UK
Within Elephant & Castle there is an increase in new social based crimes that challenge the grey area of ‘public space,’ crimes such as Graffiti, Parkour, Guerrilla Gardening and Busking. In our cities we are promised public space, however this could not be further from the truth. Minority groups such as Graffiti artists or Guerrilla Gardeners are constantly being suppressed by the authorities within public space, because these activities are not seen as being beneficial to the community. For these subcultures, the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle is worrying. The new scheme actually decreases the current expanse of public space, much of which is being replaced by highly priced private housing.

As the authorities deem it worthy to arrest these minority groups and subsequently sending them to tribunals and courts, the government is consulting on plans to close 91 courts in England and Wales due to ‘surplus capacity.’ These four social artistic activities have the ability to bring regeneration to poorer or rundown areas, whereas society deems them as disciplinary crimes.

My project is a series of specialist courtrooms catering for those four minority groups whilst performing as a training ground to rally back feedback and warrant ‘earned release.’

Alastair Johnson


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