Join Marion Davies, Juliet Davis and Debra Rapp as they discuss their new book, Dispersal: Picturing Urban Change in East London, with Hackney resident and former Guardian journalist, Dave Hill.
Unparalleled in its detailed investigation into the impact of the 2012 Olympic Games on London’s East End, Dispersal paints a dramatic picture of the people and businesses displaced and affected by the development of the Olympic site, through documentary photography and investigative reportage.
Though often represented as an industrial ‘wasteland’, this book reveals Stratford in the Lower Lea Valley as a melting pot of people from different races and religions, working side by side across a huge variety of trades and professions. Photographers Marion Davies and Debra Rapp documented 60 of the area’s most notable businesses before they were forced to move from the area following the 2007 Compulsory Purchase Order, including 3rd generation salmon smokers H. Forman & Sons, couture fashion manufacturers Panache Outerwear Ltd, set builders for the Royal Opera House, family run upholsterers Adssiz Ltd, Parkes Galvanizing Ltd which ran out of Marshgate Lane since the 1950s, donner kebab producers Harringay Meat Traders Ltd and internationally renowned stained-glass artists Goddard & Gibbs Studios Ltd whose pieces feature in Westminster Abbey and St James’ Palace.
Featuring over 200 stunning black and white and colour images, many of these photographs and the personal stories behind them have never-before been published. With specialist academic insight from Juliet Davies, Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design at Cardiff University, Dispersal provides a uniquely detailed investigation into the relocations and the knock-on effect this dispersal has had on the lives and success of the owners and staff of a multitude of businesses, and one of London’s most interesting boroughs. Dispersal is the ideal book for anyone interested in photography, history, social change and the ever-changing landscape of London and England.
Marion Davies is a fine art documentary photographer with a social science and social work background, whose work centres on the themes of remembrance and memory. Her published work includes Absence and Loss: Holocaust Memorials in Berlin and, together with poet Jane Liddell-King, Faces in the Void: Czech Survivors of the Holocaust.
Juliet Davis is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design at the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University. She studied Architecture at Cambridge University and has worked as a practicing architect. She completed her Ph.D. ‘Urbanising the Event’ on the planning and design processes associated with the Olympic Games and Legacy at the London School of Economics in 2011. Her research explored the politics of regeneration, the ethics of planning and design, and ways of approaching urban futures. Juliet’s grandparents lived in the East End of London from the 1920s onwards, and Juliet herself lived in the East End for seventeen years, in Leytonstone, Whitechapel and Hackney respectively.
Debra Rapp is a documentary and fine art photographer, and has an MA in Art History from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Debra’s family also has links to East London as her grandfather grew up and ran his own business in the East End.