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Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design

Fournier Street, 1974

Loelesworth Street, 1978

Racist youths rampage Artillery Passage, 1979

Sclater Street, E1, 1977

All images by Paul Trevor


Eastender Archive Project featured in JCAMD photography magazine

The latest issue of Activate, the Photography Magazine from the Sir John Cass Department of Art Media and Design has been released. Issue 3 of the successful publication, which is edited by Senior Lecturer in Photography Susan Andrews, explores matters relating to the Eastender Archive that the university is building, initially with the work of the photographer Paul Trevor. Staff at London Metropolitan University are working with Trevor to edit his archive of 120,000 images of the Brick Lane area, taken over three decades. The magazine captures both a selection of the stunning work as well as reflecting on the challenging and sometimes painful process of an ambitious project such as the Eastender archive.

In an extract from a letter included in the magazine, the photographer relates the strain imposed by studying thousands of contact sheets in the search for the most appropriate images. "Physically it’s taking a toll ... the process is unavoidably punishing on the eyes ... it’s like being stunned with a punch to the face"

Jenny Harding, Principal Lecturer in Communication and Cultural Studies and project leader, explains the rational behind the project, "The Eastender Archive Project is a collaborative work in progress. The project aims to produce an online digital archive of 500 images representing the lives of local East End communities in their distinctive social, economic and political contexts, during a period of rapid social and physical change (1970's to 1990's). This will be complemented with oral testimony and images and stories made accessible to local communities, students and academics. The project team is necessarily engaged with a number of interesting questions. What are the aesthetic, historical, and social dimensions of creating a photographic archive and how might these be related? Which factors contribute to the construction of a photographic archive as a relevant resource for public history and/or academic inquiry? How can aesthetic and social/political discourses work together to achieve this end?"

Activate is an RCF funded departmental magazine whose current remit is to focus on photographic work that concerns or is made by people who live or work in the East End of London. The publication is supported by an international editorial board made up of artists, curators, critics and academics. The next issue of Activate, due to come out before Christmas, will explore the concept of the city in flux. It is available for £3.00 from venues such as The Photographers Gallery or from Susan Andrews or Mick Williamson at Central House.

Activate 3
download a PDF of Activate issue 3

Editorial Board
Susan Andrews
Ed Barber
Zelda Cheatle
Brian Griffin
Paul Hill
Amanda Hopkinson
Tom Hunter
Grace Lau
Melanie Manchot
Brett Rogers
Mick Williamson

Susan Andrews

About Paul Trevor
Paul Trevor is a London based artist/photographer/film maker, currently living and working in Spain. His photographs have been exhibited internationally since the 1970's and are in museum collections in Britain and abroad. He has received numerous awards, including two Arts Council photography bursaries.

Photography Projects include: Down Wapping, 1974; Survival Programmes, 1982; Constant Exposure, 1987; Sleeper, 1993; Fotomo Blues, 1997; In Your Face, 2000; Los Ninots, 2002; Eye & I, 2003 and Dreams of Fire, 2005.

Collections include: Arts Council of Great Britain, London; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; British Council, London and New Delhi; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, London; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona; Centre Nationale de la Photographie, Paris; Commonwealth Institute, London; Museum of London, London; Museum of the Moving Image, London; Side Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

back to News & Events Archive: November 2007

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