Deptford, in the muddle of regeneration, is busy creating a two-tier society, one not witnessed in this area before. Basing itself as an art magnet one stop on the train from London Bridge, the new communities that are being built as we speak are having a new train station, arts space and school, all to welcome the new Deptford.
Deptford is a historic area of London associated with ship building and the Royal dockyards, which died out leaving the council to develop plans with private companies to regenerate the riverside area and the town centre – one of the roughest and most deprived areas of London.
What is so bad about our community that we can’t approach or answer the problems your average person on the street already faces?
Why do we have to ‘sex up’ and sell Deptford so the new money and residents will move in and the old community will be priced out?
The rumour or promise of regeneration raises prices, whether or not any actual development happens. This benefits landlords, estate agents and the council.
What have we witnessed so far on Deptford High St.? We have lost independently-run shops to betting shops, pawnbrokers and Tesco’s, for the regeneration we have the popular, long awaited Deptford Lounge, which is confused as to what it is and who it benefits.
A friend walking down Deptford High St. in the spring of 2010 told me of a conversation by two locals, ‘gentrification! death of a nation!’ Deptford has all the hallmarks and shows the indifference of a difficult beauty, needing care not make up to move forward and be.
These photographs create a narrative through a period of Deptford’s history, one on the cusp of regeneration, before attention started to divert our way and shows the day to day melting pot of cultures and ideas and now! Dreams? Deptford’s Dreaming aims to show the other side of life in this area, as a realistic approach to showing community and belonging to the myriad of nationalities and languages spoken up and down the old main drag.