Moving_Me?

Selected images and stories from Moving_Me?, forming part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) programme, Gentrification, Displacement, and the Impacts of Council Estate Renewal in C21st London.*


About

Moving_Me? was part of a major research programme investigating the impact on residents living on London council estates undergoing ‘renewal’.  The project provided tenants and homeowners the opportunity to respond creatively by submitting one photograph that sumed up their view of the change taking place around them. Photographs could be submitted with or without comment. 

Background

London council estates are undergoing the most sweeping changes in a generation with major ‘renewal’ programmes causing varying degrees of anxiety, with residents’ lives disrupted, and in some cases, being requested to leave their home.

Selection

The following provides a selection of photos and images that were displayed at London City Hall in March 2020, before being exhibited in the Pepys estate Library, Deptford, (March 2020 -). Presently closed due to Covid-19. A high-resolution PDF is available on request here.

London council estates are undergoing the most sweeping changes in a generation with major ‘renewal’ programmes causing varying degrees of anxiety, with residents’ lives disrupted, and in some cases, being requested to leave their home. Moving_Me? is a collection of single square format mobile phone photographs and stories contributed by residents on affected estates that best represents how they feel about the structural and social change taking place around them.
M grew up on the Pepys Estate with her Mum and Dad until Lewisham Council moved them out in 2003, before their block was finally demolished. M lived in a building identical to the one that appears on right hand side of the photograph. Her block was where the new building, see left hand side of the photo, now stands, this is her story...
AB is entering her teenage years and moved from Kilburn to Pepys with her family and feels lucky, finding her new home calm and more relaxing, this is her story...
O lived in Bothnia House and was moved locally before its demolition; overall he feels things are much the same, this is his story...
J lived on the Ocean Estate, initially with his parents then eventually securing his own accommodation on the estate. Both parents and J continue to live on the estate to this day, this is his story...
J works on the Ocean estate in Mile End and lives in a council property on an estate close-by. J’s childhood was one of continuously having
to move home, as her mother was a temporary tenant, this is her story...
XY moved from Bengal House (The Ocean Estate) as a baby but has a recurring memory of infestation and overcrowding,
he likes things in order now, this is his story...
K was in his 20s when he moved to the Ocean Estate in 1950 with his family from a flat in Whitechapel, which was scheduled to be
demolished, this is his story...
AK has a keen interest in photography and, along with friends in a closed WhatsApp group, has been sharing old photos of the area where he has lived all his life, and showed what some of the new builds on the Ocean Estate previously looked like, this is his story...
PW has lived on the Pepys Estate as a council tenant since 1982 and feels the area is improving and the council is doing a good job, “although there is always room for improvement,” this is her story...
Central to the Pepys Estate, JJ recounts her own roots and ethos that is bringing the local community together, this is her story...
AB is entering her teenage years and moved from Kilburn to Pepys with her family and feels lucky, finding her new home calm and more relaxing, this is her story...

The photographs and accompanying stories are to be archived at the Museum of London, along with the research interviews, documents collected and published papers, saved for future generations.

This programme has been funded* by the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) and led by the University of Leicester, with co-investigation by King’s College London. For more information email, Natalie at Leicester nls532@leicester.ac.uk

*ESRC Grant reference: ES/N015053/1 – (Feb. 17 – Apr. 20)

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