These pictures by Paul Mattsson are from 'Portraits from Well Street E9', a photographic documentary of a working class street in Hackney taken during December 2000. As the comments by visitors to original show state, they are "a celebration of Hackney as we know it", at a time when everything here is changing due to the unfortunate consequences of gentrification. But as these photos and the enthusiasm they generated in the community show, there is "still life in East London".
Residents and traders were involved in every stage of the exhibition and then the photographs were exhibited on the very street where they were taken. The underlying motivation was to add to the strong sense of community on Well Street rather than produce an inaccessible and out of context documentary.
The result: an exhibition which was the total opposite
of elitism, with an incredibly high turnout and which succeeded in capturing
"a real part of Hackney that still has some
real working class people in it". The local people were pleased
and surprised by the interest, as further comments in the visitor's book
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