Since 2019, we’ve been reporting on London’s Museum of Youth Culture, an emerging museum from cultural curator Youth Club that draws from the archives of Britain’s subcultures and music scenes. It’s about charting a shared history of youth culture, whether that means newspaper clippings on the 1940s ‘skid kids’ who held bike races through bombsites, rusty badges of smiley faces from the acid rave scene, or faded photographs of 1990s teenage bedrooms.
Until recently, the Museum of Youth Culture was more of a concept than a bricks-and-mortar building (the organisation is hoping to open a permanent physical space by 2023), though Youth Club has held events to share findings from its archive digs, and early in lockdown, it asked people who came of age in the UK to share their awkward teenage photographs for the Grown Up Britain campaign.
But this week, the Museum of Youth Culture will be able to share its collection in person with its pop-up shop, gallery and event space at 3 Carnaby Street. Inside, you’ll find a bunch of books on youth counterculture, as well as three great exhibitions. First there’s the ‘Reconstructed Teenage Bedroom’ installation, a big, beautiful adolescent mess that holds five decades’ worth of memories in the posters, zines and photographs covering its walls. Then there’s ‘The Rusty Pin Badge Collection’ and, in the basement, rave flyer collections from Phatmedia and Chelsea Louise Berlin.
If you were one of the thousands of people who submitted photographs for the ‘Grown Up in Britain’ campaign, keep your eyes peeled. You might just see your sulky teenage face staring right back at you in the Museum of Youth Culture display.
You can find the Museum of Youth Culture pop-up at 3 Carnaby Street from Apr 16. For details on the Museum of Youth Culture visit the website here.
Want to learn more about London’s youth culture? Read this tribute to the city’s vibrant LGBTQ+ scene.
Ready to go out and make some new memories? Have a look at our official guide to Phase 2 reopening.