WORDS by JESSICA
PHOTOS by RÂM LEGRAND
UPDATE (March 20, 2020): The spot was destroyed September 2019.
While the public authorities are busy to anti-skate and monitor any decent spot with the ultimate aim of keeping the practice of skateboarding to spaces reserved for this purpose, namely skateparks, which among others, tolerate the practice of scooters and thus contribute to its development, a band of pirates of the space, ultra motivated and thirsty for freedom undertook the construction of a wild spot, imperfect, friendly, rad, and especially far from the norms of state security. Everything started in the winter of 2012, there were a few of us, we were about 15-16 years old, a small band looking for a wasteland or a shed to build a spot.
Xavier had spotted this gigantic concrete slab abandoned for ten years and one day he brought us all there. We found the place not so bad because it was ideally located between a commercial area with a construction store, the river l’Huveaune next door for unlimited water and rubble, and cherry on the cake, it was situated behind closed doors!
In fact, at the time, the waste center located behind it was building a wall to separate the railway, so we could even steal bricks and concrete bags. So everything was perfect and we started to build the first transition with pool coping.We were super motivated, only building the spot and then we met some guys who came to do soil expertise. They had a project of building businesses – we were disgusted! We weren’t going to invest in something that was going to be destroyed! So we stopped the construction. Abandoned for a while, (and for good reason, it was necessary to activate to continue the build of the mythical Caverne) the project resumed with the motivation and know-how of Marseille-Montargis (Street Trash) Connection.
We will never forget: the puzzle of the transport of anti-parking concrete slabs that weigh a ton under 34°c heat without mistral (the famous wind blowing in the south of France), and the fear of taking it on the feet; round trip to Leroy Merlin with a shopping cart from Ikea, with the famous passage of the entrance to the highway: rotten road, packed with cars, no zebra crossing, all with 140kg of concrete on a shopping cart; mosquitoes, human chains to fill water cans in the river (which is not an example of cleanliness); the day that a fire started right next door; the time there was an open air party on the spot and they left everything filthy…
But above all, all the work done in a team and in a good mood, the afternoons chilling in the hammock in the full on heat, the number of beers consumed, the satisfaction of skating a transition after struggling to build it, the number of people who helped!
Currently, the spot is still not finished because there is plenty of space. The only problem is that a building permit has appeared at the entrance of the place… But the ephemeral side – is it not part of the game when we build on land that does not belong to us?
Case to follow…