Capturing the forgotten communities of east London

Capturing the forgotten communities of east London

‘Hell is right here’ — Oliver Cargill heads to Hackney, Bethnal Green and Brick Lane for his new photo series, turning his lens on the locals who have been left behind.

East London has changed immeasurably over the last decade. Once neglected, it’s now one of the capital’s most desirable pockets; transforming itself from a high-risk crime zone (remember when Clapton road was ‘murder mile’?) to a thriving hub of pop-up boutiques and overpriced coffee shops.

As is typically the way with inner-city gentrification, there are many that have been left behind – particularly among the area’s older, poorer communities. “They can’t stand it,” Yorkshire-born photographer Oliver Cargill tells Huck. “Who can?”

Cargill’s new photo series, Hell Is Right Here, aims to give a voice to the locals who have been forgotten in Hackney, Bethnal Green and Brick Lane. Shot on film, his photos pay tribute to the original working-class communities in the area, via unflinching portraiture and artful location shots.

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“I was brought up in a working-class family, so the working class ‘scene’ was all around me in Yorkshire,” he explains. “It wasn’t until I moved to London over a decade ago, that I really saw the harshness of working class, East London life. Even though I see myself as working class, and even nearly an east Londoner, I am far removed from the working class life of East London.”

His whole project is set to go on display this Friday (October 6th) at Monty’s Bar on Brick Lane. According to Cargill, it will be his first ever solo show. “Most of my subjects reflect a small part of me in some way,” he adds, poetically. “I have been walking the streets of East London for many years, so it helps having a face and name around these parts. It meant I was able to get closer than most.”

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Oliver Cargill’s Hell Is Right Here will run at Monty’s Bar on Friday October 6th.

See more of his work on his official website, or follow him on Instagram.

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