The Old and the New: A Journey through Waterloo, Borough and Bermondsey, a set on Flickr.
These photos are the last in a series of photos from Friday August 31, 2012, when, as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, I cycled through central London and back to my home in Brockley, in south east London, after attending a protest in Triton Square, just off Euston Road, outside the offices of Atos Healthcare, the multinational company that is running the government’s vile review process for disabled people, which is designed to find them fit for work when they are not. See the Flickr set here.
This last set from that particular journey covers parts of south east London that are not, for the most part, on any kind of tourist itinerary, and some of the places I visited are unknown to Londoners in general — parts of Waterloo, Borough, Walworth and Bermondsey that I have been getting to know much more thoroughly than ever before since I began cycling and taking photographs of London on a regular basis four months ago.
I hope you enjoy the photos, which capture elements of the fabric of London that are representative of how the city is at this particular moment in time — with the visible effects of gentrification in former workers’ cottages that are now stratospherically expensive, similarly overpriced new builds, showy modern architecture, pubs, cafes, shops, street art and various social housing projects that continue to house large numbers of Londoners beyond the circles in which the moneyed people move. I continue to keep an eye on these developments, because, as I will be showing in other photo sets over the coming months, much of this housing is disappearing, razed to the ground to make way for projects that are mostly for sale to workers in the City and Canary Wharf, and not to the displaced locals, who, in any case, would be unable to afford them. There is a scandal here that is barely touched upon in the media, and it is something that I am currently researching.
As I mentioned in the article that accompanied the last set of photos, I have so many photo sets from the last two months to make available that I was hoping to post new photos on a daily basis, although that schedule has slipped because of developments in relation to Guantánamo and the “war on terror,” which needed — and continue to need — my attention. However, I promise to make new photos available whenever possible, as my project to photograph the whole of London continues to inspire me.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
On Facebook, Christopher John Webster wrote:
Another tremendous set of images Andy…
Nick Jewitt wrote:
Excellent viewing of the area.
Thanks, Chris and Nick, for the wonderfully encouraging words!
Agastyan Daram wrote:
I’m all for restoring old.. new has no style or soul. People will think it is ugly in 20 years. Old has been enjoyed for a long time..
Jennah Solace wrote:
I know that nobody knows what I know! lol
Thanks, Agastyan, for those very special words. I wish those busy tearing down so much of London would take this on board. There’s a lot of new lying that echoes the “slum clearance” claims made in the post-war period, when many new estates and high-rise towers were made, which, unfortunately, often ended up with brutalist architecture that didn’t work well on a human basis, and that also shattered community ties. But those people were at least motivated by good intentions, however patronising and/or wrongly applied, whereas now those involved are often just lying and profiteering – talking about including elements of “affordable housing,” while socially cleansing whole areas of poorer people to make new housing, at great profit, for workers in London’s centres of thievery, the City of London and Canary Wharf.
And Jennah, yes, I thought you’d like that!
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