Today I had a meeting with Cardiff Council. Specifically, the people who are in charge of what the city of Cardiff looks like. It was sincerely refreshing to put across my views on how the corporate world that we are immersed in definitely does not sit well with what hip-hop culture is about. We discussed learning to paint on the street and the ethos of respect and teaching one another. We also talked about commissioned pieces and the factors of money and time in creating art, and how the only way to improve is to be given the opportunity to do so, or to take that opportunity wherever you may find it. I made it very clear that without legal spots, there is no opportunity to engage with and support one another legally. The boardwalk is ideal for this as it’s central.

They aren’t happy about the tags on the posts along the boardwalk, so are going to paint over them. They’ll also put up signs so it’s more obvious how to get permission to paint there (they may stay longer than my home-made efforts…) They’re also, and this is the good news, going to sort out some money for paint for some future jams, and there was talk about commissioning something the castle end of the boardwalk, as this is the most visible part. This is where the conversation was most awkward, as I fully disagree that this commission should be ‘street art’.

I’m really hopeful that this will be the beginning of the inclusion of real hip-hop when funding for arts and culture is dished out by Cardiff Council. They are organising an arts event in October, and were keen to include something as part of that – Swn festival is on at the same time so maybe it could link in. Watch this space…

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