This book has developed during a seven year engagement with this London street market in which I switched roles between photographer, market trader and oral historian.
The book “Ridley Road Market” interweaves photographs, archival materials, stories, newspaper cuttings and a series of postcards. As a whole, they reveal Ridley Road as a place of community and where histories — large and small — unfold.
Ridley Road is described as a “hub of connection, interconnections and social interaction” by sociologist Sophie Watson, the market began in Dalston, East London in the 1880s.
Unlike the areas around it, Ridley Road still upholds degrees of autonomy in public space. However, there are plans for redevelopment of the immediate area — the local and social fabric of the market is under threat.
The book dummy was printed in July 2018. It is 205×270 mm in size and has 296 pages. An index and reference system interconnects different materials and fragments. The book does not present a linear narrative. Instead, “Ridley Road Market” remains fragmented reflecting my perception and experiences of the market.
A crucial element of this long-term engagement is to return the book to the market — to be given to a number of people who contributed and to be sold on a Ridley Road market stall.