Notes from the Street (1995)
My personal involvement with the British Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets and its young people stretches back almost ten years, firstly as a local youth worker and presently as a photographer. Notes from the Street is informed by my own experiences and is part of a photographic response to changes and transitions within this community.
Involvement with this group of British Bangladeshi youths from Shadwell came about through photographing 'rave' events they organised between 1989 and 1992. From this work, I felt the need to develop a more in-depth and critical body of work that explored these young men's lives and recorded their perceptions.
Quotes are taken from recorded interviews; they are part of a process of negotiation and consent over the ways in which the young men wished to be represented. All the photographs and interviews were produced between 1993-1994 and they offer a viewpoint of the experiences of a group of young British Bangladeshi men at a particular point in time.
Notes from the Street shows street lifestyles and sensibilities which are distinctly separate from those of the older generation and are clearly influenced by the urban environment of East London.
At a time when a shift in values is occurring within this community, these young men assert a unique sense of identity located in both Bangladeshi and British cultures.
Introduction to catalogue published by Camerwork 1995 (ISBN 1 871 10306 3) with texts by Phil Cohen and Halima Begum. Available from Anthony Lam & Four Corners Film
Notes from the Street consists of 20 selenium toned silver gelatin prints each 40.6x50.8cm with texts.
The project received support from Autograph ABP, Camerawork, London Arts & LDDC