Celebrating 200 Days of Andy Worthington’s Photo Project, ‘The State of London’

26.11.17

Recent photos from 'The State of London', Andy Worthington's photo project, launched on Facebook in May 2017.Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator, activist and photographer.

 

Today is the 200th day of ‘the State of London’, a photo project that I launched on Facebook on May 11 this year, the fifth anniversary of when I first began travelling around the capital by bike, taking photos on a daily basis. I also set up a Twitter page recently, and, in the new year I hope to get the website (currently just a skeleton) up and running. My article introducing the project is here, and also see here for my reflections after 100 days.

The photos cover every one of London’s 120 postcodes, and also include some of the outlying boroughs, and, since launching the daily photos on Facebook, I’ve posted photos from over half of London’s 120 postcodes.

They feature what I hope is a fascinating cross-section of the capital’s many faces beyond those seen by tourists — its abandoned and run-down places, its buildings old and new (the latter rising up like a plague of greed), night and day, the light, the rain, the seasons and the weather, political protests, and, increasingly, those parts of the city that are threatened with destruction — primarily, council estates that are being knocked down and replaced with new private developments from which the existing residents (both tenants and leaseholders) are generally excluded, a disgraceful form of social cleansing involving councils from across the entire political spectrum.

For further information, see my archive of articles about the UK housing crisis, follow my page No Social Cleansing in Lewisham, check out ‘London’ and other housing-related songs by my band The Four Fathers, and come and see ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, a documentary film about social cleansing and the resistance to it, directed by Nikita Wolfe, which I’m narrating, and which launches in London on December 8.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that social cleansing is one of the great injustices in contemporary London, a kind of social cannibalism that is the malignantly logical end result of the entire political and corporate establishment making housing the main driver of the economy, insanely enriching those fortunate enough to have bought properties before the housing bubble began in the early years of the New Labour government, while dreadfully impoverishing everyone else, and also pandering to rich foreign investors, who have been persuaded that London is a safe place to park their money, in a property market whose profits have been assiduously marketed as endlessly-expanding.

Because no one with power and influence is interested in doing anything about the capital’s disgraceful distorted economy, which is creating an ever-increasing chasm between the rich and the poor, and because our so-called leaders also seem not even to accept that there is a problem with this inequality, the destruction of people’s homes for profit is somehow seen as acceptable, even though it is not. Councils are indeed starved of funding by central government, but their response is not to challenge the Tories, or to insist that it is cheaper to refurbish estates than to knock them down, but to enter into disgracefully close relationships wth powerful private developers, who have no interest in protecting existing residents, and only see opportunities for immense profits, exiling existing tenants and leaseholders, and creating new, often largely empty blocks owned by absentee foreign investors.

I hope you’ll start following ‘The State of London’ if you haven’t already. it’s fair to say that, although I’ve outlined some of my key interests above, almost anything can turn up on the page, as I draw on my archive, and sometime photos taken on the day, for each day’s new content — for today, for example, drawing only on photos taken on November 26, in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017 — when, every day, I may or may not have travelled widely, and when the weather may or not have been welcoming or conducive to good photos.

So every day, in other words, is something of a lucky dip — surprising me, and, I hope, surprising you as well. I do hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Donald Trump No! Please Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2017), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — 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. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

2 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Today it’s 200 days since I launched my photo project ‘The State of London’, and here’s my latest article on my website promoting it. Please have a read if you want to know some background to the project, now in its sixth year, which I began in 2012 when I started going out every day on my bike, travelling around London and taking photos. I started posting photos from that five-year archive here in May, and I welcome anyone new who wants to join our community of London-watchers!

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    The first time the article wouldn’t format properly on Facebook, but after repeatedly re-posting it, eventually it worked, and this was my second introduction:

    Yay! I’m really pleased to be marking 200 days of my photo project ‘The State of London’, which I started here in May, posting a photo a day from my project photographing London by bike, now in its sixth year, which has seen me travel to every one of London’s 120 postcodes, and even some of the outer boroughs as well. It took me until May to start making these photos available, and for the last 200 days I’ve been choosing a photo a day from my archive, and making it available with my commentary. If you’re not already on board, why not join me? I will definitely take you to corners of London you’ve never seen before, and hopefully engage you in some of the struggles for the soul of the city that are so important.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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