Since the tragic events that transpired in Charlottesville, South Carolina, last August, a fierce debate about what should be done with problematic monuments has been raging—and not just in the United States. In Europe, colonial-era monuments pose a particular problem. Like monuments to the confederacy in the US, sculptures memorializing European colonizers are rarely combined…
In the East End of London, Spitalfields, many homes and buildings have been demolished and replaced with high cost housing or expensive office blocks. This has tended to price the local people out of the area, break up communities and bring in new residents who have no close ties to the community. Often buildings could have been improved but there is more money in doing them up for a different market or other things. On the positive side, the Street Artists have moved in and taken advantage of bare walls and fencing to display their work. One of my favourites was the madonna-like figure on the end wall behind the hoarding in my photograph above. The area around Brick Lane is a mecca for restaurants and tourists. But for local people who want to stay, it is impossible – it can be over a million pounds for a 2 bedroom apartment! There have been protests against the ‘gentrification’ of the area but money always wins.
Screenshot from Google Maps, shows a demolition site in the heart of Spitalfields.
I was travelling by bus when this child – no more than 18 months and sitting on its mother’s knee in front me, captured my attention, staring unblinking into my own eye. Seemingly the toddler could see my very thoughts. It was an eerie experience which I have remembered for years. I had to look away to break the spell. The title in the daily prompts brought it all back to me, now.