E3 Grime

Thanks to dvaphoto for the news that Simon Wheatley’s Don’t Call Me Urban! The Time of Grime was published by Northumbria University Press based in Newcastle at the start of the year. I wrote about his work with young Londoners in Lambeth and Bow when Magnum in Motion published a fine audiovisual presentation Inner City Youth, London on his work in 2006  (he joined Magnum as a nominee in 2005, and his work is still on their site although he left in 2008.)

The Don’t Call Me Urban web site is well worth a look, and as well as still images includes a video by Wheatley made on the streets of Bow with some of the ‘Grime’ artists who he got to know and who let him share and photograph some of their lives. The video and his photographs are a very direct and honest look at the lives of these young Londoners, perhaps oddly disconnected from their locale, living in a universe that only connects occasionally with the E3 others know.

January’s  Professional Photographer magazine included an interesting interview with Wheatley about the work and his attitudes, including his need to write a lot of text to put the work into context, something I think some photographers fail to appreciate the need for. Without it work often becomes a voyeuristic enterprise. He also gives some idea of his current situation, living in Calcutta and “looking far beyond photography itself” while also “rediscovering a love of photography.”

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