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In My Block – Welshpool House Photo Project

Fri 17 Jun - Fri 2 Sep

In My Block – Welshpool House Photo Project

I have been a Hackney Council tenant for 18 years. I have always been fascinated by the diversity of people inhabiting my tower block and have enjoyed watching many families’ children grow up.

Within this community there is a feeling of solidarity between people. The block is situated on Broadway Market, a bustling area of the East End, and the community housed within these walls is an intriguing contrast to the gentrified streets outside.

Years ago, the block was a hard-to-let property. Now we have a landscaped garden and a concierge service. Many of the concierges have worked here for years and are an intrinsic part of our community. Within my block there is a great mix of people from many cultures: young and old: those who are struggling and those who are more affluent.

Before lockdown 2020 I was planning a portrait project photographing people in their flats. On visiting my neighbours, I had noted how their use of space, décor and individual style reflected both their personality and their heritage. When lockdown started, the community came together through a shared gardening project with more people using the communal garden each day in search of nature and community. I decided to capture people in this unique shared space.

This project was a lifeline for me in a turbulent time and I greatly enjoyed taking time to get to know my neighbours. This diverse slice of Hackney is the London I know, and love and I am happy to be a part of the history of the block. Lockdown has made me realise just how important community is.

I would like to thank all the participants for taking part and for a community grant towards developing costs.

Justine Roland-Cal

An early edition of this exhibition was staged on Chats Palace railings in December 2020, between lockdowns.

Exhibition prints, framing and hanging by Peter Young for Photochats.

Prints available at https://justinerolandcal.co.uk

This exhibition is free and can be viewed during Chats Palace opening hours, including between 7pm and 10pm every Tuesday evening (to 2 Aug) when The Library Bar will also be open for drinks.


Fri 17 Jun
Fri 2 Sep
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Chats Palace Arts Centre
42-44 Brooksby's Walk
London, E9 6DF United Kingdom
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