Photographer Reveals What Life Was Like Before Gentrification Hit Dalston

Dalston featured

The people, the poverty and the humanity.

Dalston is one of the most rapidly gentrified areas of London. Over the years this exciting spot of London has drawn in artists thanks to its cheap rent and community feel. As a result, this place is now bustling with creative flair and eccentric nightlife.

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However, back in the 1980s, this North East End area of London looked very different. Although it may not have had the same trendy reputation does now, Dalston was still filled with interesting characters. Photographer Andrew Hooligan captured this era back in 1984 when he moved from New York to Dalston with his wife. Using a 1950s Rolleiflex camera, Andrew began documenting the people, the poverty and the humanity he saw. On the photo set, he said:

I was just curious.

There was no motive behind the pictures. I roamed around where I was.

There could have been a sense of gentrification when I moved there because a lot of artists were moving in. That could have been the stirring point.

I wasn’t really trying to make a point at all. It was just a very personal kind of journey.

I wasn’t looking for poverty or an ethnic multicultural thing. I don’t want to pass judgement on any place or anyone.

Time and again it was just me going out and meeting the world.

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For more insights into UK cities before gentrification hit, check out the Sick Chirpse homage to Britain’s lost council estate pubs.


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