Culture year. Remember that? Oh, come on you must, surely. It was the global event of 2008 & provided the foundation for a prosperous & idyllic future for Liverpool.
Well, that's what Oldham Hall Street claimed.
Sevenstreets carries a piece about a soon to be released film by the City Picture collective (http://www.citypicture.co.uk/ ) concerning the distortion, corruption & mendacity surrounding 2008 (http://www.sevenstreets.com/performance-and-film/capital-of-vultures ). Sevenstreets notes of the film, Liverpool08-Capital of Vulture:
"An unflinching, honest and --at times-- acerbic snapshot of where we're at, the documentary posits whether, in the wake of the Capital of Culture, the city's artists (so essential for the regeneration of run-down post industrial areas) have experienced anything approaching a legacy, or whether the event did little more than hijack their community for a year long knees-up at our expense."
I think we all know the answer to that one. The notion of there being an 08 legacy is as risible as that of Oldham Hall Street undertaking investigative journalism. That reality notwithstanding, Sevenstreets plays an unnecessarily even-handed approach:
"It's a thorny subject, for sure, and one that elicits more heat than light: there are as many versions of the 08 story as there were tattered flags lining Edge Lane. For some, it was a platform to showcase the city as a cauldron of creativity, for others a PR excercise of cliques and canapes that failed to ignite any real sense of inclusion or momentum."
Before it fades further into the realm of urban myth & sepia-tinted nostalgia, it's worth reminding ourselves that the heat elicited by culture year continues to emanate from Oldham Hall Street, the city council, the main players in the late, unlamented Liverpool Culture Company, the parasitical PR agencies, "Professor" Phil "Big Society" Redmond, et al. Any creativity within the city was either sidelined or ignored; community projects & initiatives in areas like Kirkdale, Speke & Norris Green were conspicuous by their absence from the city centre-based itinerary.
Culture year was little more than a Bread & Circus scam, dispiriting in its content & corrupt in its organisation. Don't believe me? Track Jason Harborrow down, if that's possible, ply him with a few drinks & discover the truth of that eternal phrase, in vino veritas.