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The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Dec 2014 back issue
by Zed Nelson Hoxton Mini Press
A Portrait of Hackney
On a spring evening in April 2010, a 16-year-old schoolgirl was killed by a gunshot fired through the window of a fast food restaurant in Hackney. The gunman, 21 years old and riding a bicycle, was trying to scare a rival youth gang. On the same day, two men on a motorbike shot at two males walking along the street, who then returned fire. It didn’t bode well for the approaching 2012 Olympics. But Hackney – though crime-ridden, poor and dilapidated – was nevertheless in the process of becoming one of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Down the road from the shootings, contemporary design studios and modernist apartment blocks now pepper the landscape, like out-of-place totems of middle-class gentrification. The social landscape for an underprivileged teenager growing up in Hackney, one of London’s poorest boroughs, is a million light-years away from the new urban hipsters who frequent the cool bars and expensive cappuccino café’s springing up in the same streets. These worlds co-exist side- by-side but entirely separate, creating bizarre juxtapositions of wealth and poverty, aspiration and hopelessness. This series, a work in progress, meditates on the confusion of cultures, clash of identities and the beauty and ugliness that co-exist in the borough today.
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