As humans, we have many sides to our personality. We present ourselves as a unified being but in actual fact, we are composed of many layers. Over the last few months, I decided to slow down whilst shooting and captured a few portraits of friends and loved ones with silver film. A small mistake quickly grew to become a mini project of mine. Below are some of the images I have captured on Mamiya RB67 and Hasselblad 501c.
I kept refreshing hashtag #Bohemians4Soho on twitter last Monday waiting for updates as the protestors were still occupying the ex-12 bar. The #Bohemians4Soho had a community meeting that evening and "Frank Turner playing at 12 bar at 8pm" came up as a tweet.
When we got down to the venue, there was a buzz. People were walking into the building freely and musicians playing at the front door of the 12 bar. It was quite different compared to what we experienced the day before. Their barricade was pushed to the side, the lights were on and a somewhat lighter atmosphere filled the air.
The community meeting was held in one of the rooms within 12 bar and it was packed. Phoenix (@pheonixrainbow) was one of the activists leading the discussion in the room. On the other side, Dan was being interviewed and 12 bar seemed alive again on a Monday night. A few familiar faces like Mortecai played a big part in the discussions and there were several new faces who were keen to help out on the #savesoho front.
The night ended with Frank Turner playing and I overheard a woman ranting outside the crowded room going on about how it was "just f****** hipsters here to watch some famous musician and none of them cared about their cause..."
It was a matter of time before the riot police kicked the occupiers out and last Friday, it happened.
The day started out at the National Portrait Gallery, partly for a small university assignment as well as checking out the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition. After our visit, Ming Yang and I walked about to try and photograph anything that caught our eye. Nothing quite happened until after lunch when we walked down Denmark Street in Soho. It was a chance encounter at the front of the ex-12 bar and one of the guys, Dan from #Bohemians4Soho came up to say hi and we started chatting about what they were up to. Mordecai, another activist from the group told us about their protest against the gentrification of Soho by the big corporation, Consolidated Development, the owner of the building. Apparently, they have been squatting in the building for about two weeks. There is a Bohemians Manifesto online which tells you about what they stand for.
The group was kind enough to allow us into the Grade II listed building to check it out. Musicians have been invited to play once again in the venue. You can check out some of their videos here and on twitter, check out hashtags #Bohemians4Soho, #SaveDenmarkStreet, #SaveTinPanAlley and #SaveSoho.
If you have been passing by Tottenham Court Road station, you would have noticed the massive changes around the area.
Guardian's report about the protest here.