Curious Insomnia: Photos of a Journey through Deptford and Millwall to Canary Wharf at Night

12.3.13

Budul TelecomDeeplexDeptford High Street at nightDeptford stationCanary Wharf coloursA tree by the Thames in Greenwich
Railway arches, MillwallIsle of Dogs supermarketMillwall Dock at nightMillwall Dock and Canary Wharf at nightMore to enjoySouth Quay
South Quay reflectionsSouth Quay station

Curious Insomnia: A Journey through Deptford and Millwall to Canary Wharf at Night, a set on Flickr.

At 1 am on November 14, 2012, I decided to take a late night bike ride to Canary Wharf, the modern mutant offspring of the City of London. The City is an ancient lawless zone, but it is now rivalled by the lawlessness of the Docklands project initiated under Margaret Thatcher, which expanded hugely under Tony Blair.

Canary Wharf, which I first photographed here, fascinates and repels me. Its towers, with their horribly ostentatious show of wealth, and their disdain for even vaguely concealing how much money can be made through devious behaviour that ought to be illegal — and in many cases is — are visible from almost everywhere, and are particularly dominant from all over south east London, where I live. However, while the buildings are, in some ways, architecturally impressive, that is not all that calls out across the miles when One Canada Square and its phallic companions are glimpsed from afar. The wealth they display is also meant to intimidate and/or dazzle those mere mortals — the majority of us, in other words — who earn in a lifetime what well-paid bankers take home in a year.

I’ll be analysing Canary Wharf further in the article following this one, which features the photos I took in the heart of Canary Wharf. In contrast, this set features the start of my journey, through Deptford and Greenwich, including Deptford High Street, which stands in total contrast to the wealth and rarefied shopping malls of Canary Wharf (which I photographed here). I then cycled through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, and took photos in Millwall, and also of Millwall Inner Dock, South Quay DLR station and the mainly residential developments around them, including the Pan Peninsula towers, luxury high-rises that deliberately scorn the ordinary humans below, with their promotional material celebrating those who “inhabit a private universe.”

For now, I hope you enjoy this photo set, the 84th in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began last May. The photos from the heart of Canary Wharf will follow soon.

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.

9 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Sarah Price wrote:

    Wow, gorgeous work, Andy.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Sarah. Great to hear from you, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the photos.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Sarah Price wrote:

    You’re so talented. Do you ever sell your prints?

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    I haven’t got that particular ball rolling yet, Sarah, although I intend to. If anyone has any advice, I’m all ears!

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    And thank you again for the kind words, Sarah! Much appreciated.

  6. damo says...

    canary wart is oz exept behind the curtain there are devious bankers and crooks instead of the great and powerfull friendly wizard,lol

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Nice one, Damo. Or another way of looking at it is that the wizard behind the curtain was a fraud, whereas this lot see themselves as masters of the universe, when they’re even more fraudulent!

  8. damo says...

    peoples self delution never ceases toamaze me

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Nicely put, Damo. I was brought up with the “know thy place” conservatism of northern working class Methodism, which has been annoying in all kinds of ways, but at least it didn’t allow me to be a massive, arrogant, contemptuous arse, like the bragging clowns we see all around us all the time.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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