Copyright 2020 © The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Through ethnographic research and qualitative data collection, this essay examines the nexus between London’s Banglatown – a long-standing ethnic quarter in the East End of London – and the impacts of gentrification through ‘hipsterfication’ on the localised British-Bangladeshi culture formation along Brick Lane.
The Bengali East End Memory Map - see www.bengalieastend.org - collects memories from interviewees and the British-Bangladeshis about cultural spaces and heritage sites that are important to them. The map has been formed through the lens of ‘everything as culture’, thus allowing a more open conversation about the impacts of built environment policies on British-Bangladeshi culture, from architecture to restaurants to galleries. The map has been made available to local policy makers and authorities to inform and influence decisions about the built environment and to help better understand British-Bangladeshi culture.
The photographic exhibition consists of over 150 photographic prints of historic buildings, religious spaces, street markets, building features, and informal spaces that are important to this diaspora. Primarily collected during the coronavirus lockdown, the photographs capture a snapshot of British-Bangladeshi life during a time of uncertainty about their place in the city.
A photograph of graffiti by artist ROA, at the Brick Lane and Hanbury Street intersection.
A Bengali elder reading on Princelet Street.
Friday prayers at Brick Lane Jamme Masjid.
A photograph of the façade of the old Moorish Market, Fashion Street.