WHAT IS ARTWASHING? WHAT IS GENTRIFICATION?

This was first published on the Old Man Stan’s Bazzo Stick Gang Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/official.oldmanstan

A town just like Basildon now.
Suffering from long term deliberate neglect.
It gets deliberately run into the ground over many years.
Then the local Council and planners say, “It’s over unless we “regenerate”! Meanwhile, Greedy developers are waiting!
The process begins to transform the town into multi-use housing and retail. Posh restaurants, coffee shops and bars are promised. And an all new bright and sparkly art and culture scene!
Consultants like THINGS MADE PUBLIC and FUTURE CITY are bought in from outside to deliver their version of local art and culture.
They cost a fortune and they will tell us what we are about, who we are and what we need.
The consultants pretend to be offering art and culture opportunities and choices to local people, for the benefit of local people, using tax payers money.
However the choices and opportunities aren’t real and just a clever game, designed to keep the place looking “vibrant” and viable, while developers go about their business.
Hardly any local artists or local groups benefit and the wider community doesn’t benefit from the money paid in grants from Arts Council England. It all goes on running costs and glitter. It’s smoke and mirrors, designed to divert attention away from what is really going on. Nothing is sustainable or lasting.
The local Council meanwhile plough ever more additional funding into them.
Eventually, using outside artists as tools to achieve their aims, the area becomes attractive to wealthier investors.
As the town becomes more desirable, rents and rates for shops and housing prices and rents go through the roof.
The promised “affordable” housing doesn’t arrive. It’s all about greed and profit and what the Developer wants. It’s all been a game.
Local people on average and below average incomes, can no longer afford to live in their town.
Local people have to leave to find cheaper places to live.
THIS IS THE PROCESS OF GENTRIFICATION AND IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN BASILDON!
The Consultants move on to the next town, looking for more willing Councils and Developers to unite, more local people to con who will ultimately pay in every way possible.
What’s really behind pretty colourful murals?

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