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Giant snails, fresh naan bread, slabs of cocoa butter and hot gözleme: you can find them all on Ridley Road. This multicultural artery opposite Dalston Kingsland station has been an integral part of the Hackney community since the 1880s, and today there are more than 150 stalls and shops selling Afro-Caribbean, Asian and Turkish wares six days a week.
But as gentrification races through Dalston (there’s even an M&S now), Ridley Road faces mounting interest from developers, which currently sees the indoor Shopping Village threatened with demolition.
To document this pivotal period, Future Hackney (a National Lottery-funded collective of visual artists and storytellers) has set up camp on the market strip. Working with young residents, it’s using street photography and a makeshift studio to capture strikingly honest portraits of the diverse local community.
This autumn, the results will cover the Shopping Village building as it meets its fate. Until then, you can follow Future Hackney’s progress on Instagram for the latest from one of London’s most fascinating streets.
Photography by Future Hackney.
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