If you’re in London on Saturday and can get to Brockley (SE4, two stops from London Bridge, three stops from Canada Water), I’ll be showcasing another of my interests, in addition to being a human rights journalist and campaigner — singing in a band, playing the campaign song I wrote for the We Stand With Shaker campaign that I launched with Joanne MacInnes two weeks ago.
My band The Four Fathers are playing at the Brockley Christmas Market, on Coulgate Street, right next to Brockley Station, from 1.30 to 2pm, and everyone is welcome. The event is free, and there will be loads of welcoming stalls selling Christmas presents, food and drink.
The We Stand With Shaker campaign seeks to secure the release from Guantánamo, without further delay, of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, who is still held, despite being cleared for release in 2007 and 2009, and despite the British government’s official position — that it is seeking his release and his return to his family in London. Read the rest of this entry »
Suddenly, Snow: Brockley at Night, a set on Flickr.
The opportunity to take these photos of the streets of Brockley in the snow, with the pavements empty of people and the streets almost empty of traffic, came to me unexpectedly at 2.45am last night. As I was about to go to bed, I noticed, through a window, that the outside world looked white, and, on closer inspection, discovered to my delight that it was snowing.
Five minutes later, I was dressed and venturing out into the night, discovering that the snow had been falling steadily for a few hours, and was settling, although I also discovered that it was very wet, and that the chances of it lasting beyond the morning were vanishingly remote. Read the rest of this entry »
Mostly Camberwell, At Night, a set on Flickr.
Recently, I’ve been posting a variety of photos from my visit to the US in January, to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo on the 11th anniversary of the opening of the prison (see here, here, here and here), my more recent visit to Brighton for another Guantánamo event (see here and here), and the huge protest in Lewisham on January 26 to save the hospital from butchers in NHS management and the government (here and here). As a result, I have rather neglected my project to record the whole of London by bike, which I began last May, although I continue to cycle and photograph the city, and now have an unpublished archive of at least 10,000 photos, which, realistically, will only be made available if I make the project into something more formal than it is at present. Any advice on this — leads, contacts, funders — is most welcome.
To make amends for my distraction regarding my London project, I’m posting my 75th set of London photos, which features photos I took at night just two days ago, and I’ll follow up soon with other London sets, interspersed with more photos of New York from my US trip, and a last set — for now — of Brighton. Read the rest of this entry »
London in the Snow: Brockley and New Cross, a set on Flickr.
On January 20, 2013, as London became enveloped in snow — the second snowfall in two days, and this time much heavier than the first — I visited Hilly Fields, the hill-top park on Brockley, in south east london, where I have lived for the last 13 years, to take my son Tyler sledging, and to capture some photos of Londoners at play, which I published here.
I then walked with Tyler down to Brockley station, where we parted ways. He went round to a friend’s, and, after a quick coffee and a muffin at the Broca coffee shop, I cycled north, through Brockley, and on to New Cross and Deptford, as the snow grew heavier and heavier, and the cars and pedestrians began to disappear. Read the rest of this entry »
Hilly Fields in the Snow, a set on Flickr.
On Friday, when the snow began falling on London — something that is not even necessarily an annual occurrence in the UK — I took a tour by bike around Brockley, my home in south east London, and also visited Ladywell, Lewisham and Greenwich, taking photos as the first snow fell.
I posted the first set of photos yesterday, and was planning to post the second set, featuring Greenwich, today, but then it began snowing again, more heavily than before, and I spent this afternoon on another photographic trip — first of all, taking my son sledging in Hilly Fields, the hill-top park in Brockley that is one of my favourite places to visit, and then cycling through Brockley and on, via New Cross, to Deptford, capturing one of my favourite urban environments in the snow. Read the rest of this entry »
First Snow in London, a set on Flickr.
This photo set, the 72nd in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, rather sprang upon me yesterday (January 18), when, while still sleep-deprived and rather jet-lagged after returning from my ten-day visit to the US to campaign for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on the 11th anniversary of its opening, I had to make a visit to my local hospital in Lewisham, in south east London — whose A&E Department, and other frontline services, are currently under threat of closure — and was thrilled, in an inner-child way, to discover that it was snowing.
After taking a few photos en route, I reemerged after an hour or so to find that the snow was still steadily falling, and so, after pushing my bike back up the hill to Brockley — to mend a puncture I had received during the short journey to the hospital — I set out to capture some photos of my wider neighbourhood in the snow, taking a well-worn route down the hill to Lewisham, along the River Ravensbourne to Greenwich, and then down to the River Thames and back, a two-hour journey, at the end of which I was half-frozen. Read the rest of this entry »
Christmas in London, 2012, a set on Flickr.
Best wishes for the holiday season to those following my work, or to anyone who has just stumbled across it. This is a selection of Christmas-themed photos that I’ve taken over the last month during my journeys around London, as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began in May this year.
This is the 69th set of my London photos, and it was fun to go through all the photos I’ve been accumulating from my almost daily journeys, large and small, over the last month, picking out those with a Christmas theme — from locations in north London, in central London and the City, on the Isle of Dogs and at various places in south east London, where I live — including my home in Brockley, and also Blackheath, Camberwell, Deptford, Greenwich, Honor Oak, Lewisham and Rotherhithe. Read the rest of this entry »
South East London At Night: Tunnels, the River and the Surrey Canal, a set on Flickr.
As part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike — and specifically as the last part of five photo sets recording various autumnal journeys around my home in Brockley, in south east London — the photos collected here record a journey I made on the evening of November 12, 2012, for around two hours, from 9 to 11 pm. This is the 65th photo set in my project, and see here, here, here and here for the previous four sets.
Beginning at my home in Brockley, I cycled down the hill through Lewisham and the edge of Deptford to Greenwich, and then down to the River Thames at Cutty Sark Gardens, along the Deptford shoreline, past Deptford Green, and on to the derelict site of Convoys Wharf, where there are horrible plans to build a £1 billion mini-city for the rich. I then travelled inland to Evelyn Street, the main road that runs to Surrey Quays. Read the rest of this entry »
Autumn Sunset in Hilly Fields, Brockley, a set on Flickr.
As part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, my most recent photo sets — with the exception of the set featuring images from Saturday’s massive demonstration in Lewisham to resist plans to close the hospital’s A&E Department — captured a journey I made through south east London, and then along Commercial Road in the East End and back home via Canary Wharf, on a blazing hot day in July. That was exhilarating, and a lovely reminder of the joys that summer can bring, but here and now, as the days get shorter, and the leaves continue to fall, heralding the full-blown arrival of winter, I thought it would make sense to post some more recent photos.
This set — the 61st London set — and the four to follow capture some of the delights of autumn, in and around my home in Brockley, in south east London, and also including Deptford and Greenwich. This first set, however, returns to my local park, Hilly Fields, on a hill commanding wonderful views of Blythe Hill, looking over to the wooded expanse of Forest Hill, where the last vestiges remain of the Great North Wood that once covered most of south London. There are also glimpses to be had of Canary Wharf and the O2, as well as views over Blackheath to Shooters Hill, down to Lewisham and all the way out to Kent. Read the rest of this entry »
Reflections on Mortality: Autumn in Brockley Cemetery, a set on Flickr.
The 55th photo set in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, which I began exactly six months ago, focuses on Brockley Cemetery, one of a pair of Victorian cemeteries just down the road from where I live in south east London, and a visit I made as the sun was beginning to fall on a weekday evening in October, casting a golden light on the gravestones and on the wonderful trees that are part of the cemeteries’ attraction.
Located between Brockley Road and Brockley Grove, in the neighbouring area of Ladywell, the 37-acre site of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries (formerly known as Deptford and Lewisham Cemeteries) opened in 1858, and the two cemeteries were separated by a wall until 1948. They are now just separated by trees, and a low bank, but each has its own distinctive character. In fact, there is only one official entrance between the two cemeteries, which I didn’t find out until after I had visited Brockley Cemetery on many occasions, and which, as a result, was something of a Narnia moment for me (from the wardrobe in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which was one of my favourite books as a child, along with the rest of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series). Read the rest of this entry »
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. 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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