Socialist Worker

The fight is on for Hull’s soul after year of culture

by Stephanie Onamade
Issue No. 2632

Steve (left) brings his Beats Bus to the children of Hull

Steve (left) brings his Beats Bus to the children of Hull


This is a heartwarming documentary about warehouse worker Steve.

He has a dream to bring hip-hop workshops to school children living on council estates in the city of Hull through a “Beats Bus”.

It follows the announcement that Hull would be 2017 City of Culture. The documentary asks the question, “Can City of Culture really change things for ordinary people?”

Director Sean McAllister was a fellow Hull resident and guides the viewer through a brief history of Hull as a working class city built on the fishing industry.

We are then swiftly taken to the situation now, following over eight years of austerity and cuts.

The City of Culture is presented as a time to revitalise the city.

Steve has been working at the Arco factory for nine years. We see his struggles with debts, threat of bankruptcy and poor work relationships.

The only thing stopping him from feeling down is his plan for the Beats Bus.

He gets funding from the City of Culture programme and the Beats Bus workshops begin.

Eight children are selected to form a crew, who later perform at City of Culture events.

The positive impact from Steve’s mentoring becomes clear.

However, as the year for City of Culture comes to an end and the Beats Bus is decommissioned. Steve is also demoted. Viewers experience his frustration from having “Grafted hard all [his] life” with little to show for it and “earning money for some rich prick”.

The documentary finishes six months later with Steve working full?time on Beats Bus Crew Ltd.

This is a bittersweet story of how, despite culture for ordinary people being viewed as unimportant, we still find ways to explore our creativity.

A Northern Soul

BBC iPlayer, available now



The Selfish Giant

Oscar Wilde’s classic children’s story is being brought to life for the festive period.

It tells the tale of Grinter the giant. She lives happily alone in a huge cold house. She shuts out the world because the world has shunned her.

Outside the walls, the world has been changing. One day some children find a gap in the giant’s wall and climb through, and the story begins.

Adapted by Tessa Bide Productions

At the Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London, SW4 0QW. Until 24 December


Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism

This book looks at how women’s lives changed after the collapse of the “Communist” regimes in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Written by Kristen R. Ghodsee

£12.99 at Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop


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