the world’s first museum of youth culture could be opening in london

The people behind 'Sleazenation' have been awarded a lottery grant to start restoring a vast archive of subculture photography.

by Felix Petty
31 January 2017, 3:01pm

A Museum of Youth Culture is one step closer to opening in London. The Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive (PYMCA) has been awarded a National Lottery grant to restore a sprawling archive of 15,000 images that document Britain's subcultural history from the Teddy Boys of the 50s to the grime scene of today.

The PYMCA sprouted from Sleazenation, Steve Beale's incendiary 80s and 90s fashion magazine which shuttered in 2003. It's a resource that traces the trends that grew from the streets into the mainstream, and how subcultures becomes dominant cultures. It chronicles the trends launched, rose, faded, and are becoming reborn.

The PYMCA is invaluable as it is, but it's only set to grow in importance thanks to the the comprehensive renovation projection's National Lottery funding.  The funding also includes money to train a total of 36 volunteers in archival skills, as well as the resources needed to stage exhibitions and program a series of talks with the photographers whose work form the archive. This funding is the first step towards the dream of creating a museum dedicated totally to the seismic impacts youth culture has had over the decades — he world's first catalogue of youth culture of its kind.

Youth Club's Jamie Brett, who currently manages the archive, said in a statement: "Through the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund we are incredibly excited to begin the ever important task of preserving youth culture heritage in the UK."


Text Felix Petty
Image from i-D No. 1

youth culture
the photographic youth music & culture archive