BY: CAROLINE ROLF
If the mass-produced toxic food wasn’t bad enough, fast food giant, McDonald’s, may have another reason to apologize.
In a poorly thought out marketing attempt aimed towards the inner city life troubled by tagging in Brixton, south London, the fast food chain has adorned their interior features with graffiti markings.
Many are unimpressed. The locals are criticizing the move calling the work, “truly offensive” and “woefully shit,” while a McDonald’s spokesperson describes the design as “exciting and fresh.”
While it certainly seems that the refurbished restaurant was a misguided attempt to identify with “edgy Brixton,” some are finding the positive effect the graffiti is having on the south London district.
Several graffiti murals have been painted on small businesses throughout Brixton as part of a campaign to protest the railway development. Twenty-one store owners who run their business from the railway arches in the district are being pushed out as the arches are renovated and rented for more money.
This is only part of the ongoing gentrification battle in London. What was once an inexpensive area to live and work for the middle-class and immigrants has become a hub for several key industries and young professionals. The economic forces behind this have caused a shortage of affordable housing and are seeing that areas like Brixton be invested in, transformed and resold.
Despite the increasing gentrification in south London, Brixton remains home to some of the poorest residents in the city. It is doubtful that the newly-decorated walls and lampshades were implemented to make a statement against gentrification by a corporate mega-chain. At least when the diverse and independent shops are lost for good, the citizens of Brixton can get a hamburger from a faceless organization that blends in with their streets.