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, 12:55pm

A Museum of Youth Culture is one step closer to opening in London as The Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive (PYMCA) have been awarded a Lottery grant to restore a sprawling archive of 15,000 images that documents 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, and is a resource that traces the trends that grew from the streets into the mainstream, how subcultures becomes dominant cultures, trends launched, rose, faded and reborn.

The PYMCA is invaluable as it is, but it's only set to grow in importance thank to the National Lottery funding of the comprehensive renovation projection, which will end up with the world's first catalogue of youth culture of its kind. The funding also includes money to train a total of 36 volunteers in archival skills, alongside exhibitions and a series of talks with the photographers whose work forms the archive. The lottery 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.

Jamie Brett, of Youth Club, who currently manage 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