London’s nightlife has been fighting a losing battle against what many think is unfair policing, unnecessary regulation and gentrification. A growing fear is that this thwarts freedom of expression, prevents the emergence of music or fashion subcultures and fosters intolerance. As a response to this hostility party-goers are forced further away from Central London, typically eastward, to seek out alternative venues like abandoned ware-houses or empty fields on the fringes of the city.
Photo credit: Dave Swindells/YOUTH CLUB (www.daveswindells.com)
The Youth Club was set up as a response; it is a non-profit that works towards ‘preserving, sharing and celebrating youth culture’. They produce content about music, fashion and lifestyle subcultures, and promote this content through exhibitions, events and more. They have jointly curated exhibition Origins East with the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen.
Photo credit: Adam Friedman/YOUTH CLUB (www.adam-friedman.co.uk)
The exhibition features a selection of images from the PYMCA (Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive), all shot by photographers who were themselves immersed in these worlds. Like Gavin Watson, best known for his extensive documentation of skinheads and punk culture; “I just wanted to party and happened to be there with a camera. I didn’t even like the images I took at the time because I thought they weren’t as well composed as my other work. Years later I looked at them again and realised I had photographed an interesting time in history. And that the