Whitechapel 1970s exhibition goes on display

PUBLISHED: 15:57 18 March 2011

A scene from the 1970s in the This Is Whitechapel exhibition

A scene from the 1970s in the This Is Whitechapel exhibition


A photographer’s take on the changing landscape of the East End in the 1970s is going on display 40 years after it was first commissioned.

The Whitechapel Gallery gave Ian Berry the task of documenting the rapid social and economic transformations which were taking hold in Tower Hamlets as the established Jewish community moved away and a burgeoning south Asian population started to make roots in Spitalfields, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green.

Berry had made a name for himself for his fascinating take on life on the streets and was a member of photojournalist organisation Magnum.

The gallery has resurrected his work in light of the changes coming to the area as the Olympics draw nearer and the spotlight is once again on the East End.

In his series of photographs, everyday life is documented, from the mundane back roads to the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane.

Iconic local landmarks, such as Bloom’s kosher restaurant, the Blind Beggar pub and Petticoat Lane market get a showing

‘This is Whitechapel’ presents more than 30 photographs by Berry dating from the 1972 commission, along with films and books produced at the same time about east London.

The exhibition is free and runs at the Whitechapel Road gallery until September 4.

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