Night Lights: Photos of a Journey from Camberwell to New Cross at Night

8.3.13

Trees on the Lettsom Estate, CamberwellThe Lettsom Estate at nightAn alley on the Lettsom EstateVestry Fish BarThe Poor Law Guardian's Building, Peckham RoadThe St. George's Tavern
Willsbridge, Gloucester Grove EstateLights on Asylum Road, PeckhamBath Close walkwayBath CloseThe garages under Laburnum CloseStation Passage
Trees and shadowsPomeroy StreetAn abandoned mattress

Night Lights: Camberwell to New Cross at Night, a set on Flickr.

This photo set is the 83rd in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began last May, and after my recent publication of a series of photo sets from last July, featuring a journey through the East End to Stratford and the Olympic Park, on the eve of the Olympic Games, I thought it was time to return to the present — and also to publish some photos taken at night. For the previous photos, see here, here, here and here — and here for my journey around the perimeter of the Olympic Park.

As a result, I’m posting here a set of 15 photos I took at night a few days ago, during a journey from Camberwell to my home in Brockley, in south east London, after collecting my son from an art class organised by Southwark’s schools and the South London Gallery, and then escorting him to Denmark Hill station, to catch a train home. A month ago, in a set entitled, “Mostly Camberwell, At Night,” I published photos from a variation on this journey — from Brockley to Camberwell and back — although on that occasion I travelled back home through East Dulwich, and it was raining. On Tuesday, when it was dry, I cycled through Peckham instead, taking in a few council estates on the way — in Camberwell, Peckham and New Cross.

As my project continues, with over 8,000 photos still unpublished, to add to those already available, journeys between Brockley and Camberwell, via Peckham and New Cross, have become very familiar, part of what I can best describe as a mental map I am creating — of south east London in particular — in which, street by street, I am documenting the fabric of the city at this crucial time in its history.

Right now — as a close examination of London reveals, of the type that can readily be undertaken by bike — the greed of the financial elites still stalks the streets, artificially maintaining a housing bubble in which they, the speculators, continue to enrich themselves, while a relatively small number of those who are wealthy enough (professional couples, those with rich parents, and foreign investors) keep the bubble inflated, and, meanwhile, everyone else gets more and more squeezed, and, from April, when the Tories’ savage benefit reforms kick in, many of those in social housing — workers and the unemployed — will find that they can no longer even afford to live in London (also see here).

As I cycle around, I see social housing everywhere. Much of it, obviously, was sold when Margaret Thatcher cynically initiated council house sales, but much of it still houses those who rent, and who have their part to play in an intricately connected city — one that the Tories, in their arrogance, are pretending is a city that needs only the rich to survive.

I hope you enjoy these photos. I’ll be back soon with some more photos taken as winter turns to spring, but in the meantime I’m delighted to have you along for the journey.

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, 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.

2 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Christopher John Webster wrote:

    great shots Andy, beautiful colour…

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Chris. Thought you might like them! This one was chosen for Explore, and is now my most popular photo. It’s one for you, as it has a mattress in it! http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyworthington/8540266888/

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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The Guantánamo Files book cover

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The Battle of the Beanfield

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Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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