New Social Art School Projects - Aberdeen Street Skaters

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Broad Street Images

September 2003: Broad Street, a favourite skate spot in Aberdeen is skate stopped by the city council. No public consultation had taken place. One day on the street Eva Merz met a group of young skateboarders (see interview). They decided to investigate the decision-making behind the skate stoppers.

Various People Images

They started by interviewing local Councilor, Jim Hunter; he suggested they should form an organisation, so they would be taken seriously in their inquiries. Sparky aka Graham Kerr came up with Aberdeen Street Skaters - or A.S.S. and immediately became the chairman. A.S.S. had many meetings and continued the investigation by writing letters to the council (see letters)

Various Group Shots

Director of Neighbourhood Services, Gordon McIntosh, invited A.S.S. to be part of the Skate Park Working Group. A.S.S. members started going to council meetings in the Town House. A big indoor skate park was discussed, but meanwhile the skaters needed something else. The council put money towards a wee concrete facility in Westburn Park; A.S.S. teamed up with skate park designer Andy Dobson and together they designed the facility, which was built and finished in October 2003.

Images of Skaters and other People

Aberdeen Street Skaters was all about promoting street skating; even though a skate park was build there will always be skaters exploring the city and its architecture by skateboarding in public spaces. A.S.S. also emphasized the importance of skateboarders' responsibility when skating in public.

Images of Skaters and their logo

The action 'RECLAIMING THE STREETS' was a one-day event: A.S.S. members went around town, mounting a real-size street sign in different spots, skating, filming, speaking to people and signing up new members. The local press covered the event - the action worked.

Aberdeen Street Skaters T-shirts

A.S.S. designed and screen printed their own t-shirts and started wearing them in public. At the annual gay pride festival in Duthie Park A.S.S. set up a stall, showed skateboarding videos and recruited new supporters, the youngest being three years old, signed up by his mum.

Aberdeen Street Skaters Montage

A.S.S. board meeting outside Peacock Visual Arts.

Aberdeen Street Skaters Montage

A.S.S. members skating in Kemnay, a park designed by Andy Dobson

Aberdeen Street Skaters Montage

A.S.S. members at a Skate Park Working Group meeting with the Council.