Whilst searching for some ancient scans last week I popped an old, un-labeled CD into my computer and I found a series of images that I'd almost entirely forgotten: images I'd made soon after moving to Hackney focusing on wrecks of cars. When I first lived in Hackney, back at the turn of the century, one of the area's most characteristic features was it's wealth of abandoned cars. At the time you had to pay to have cars scrapped and so many were left on side roads to slowly fall apart or become magnets for more unwanted scrap. These cars, and those stolen and then torched by joyriders, kept the area looking edgy and deprived even as the first wave of neo-yuppies (like me) moved in, carrying with us the seeds of gentrification. Hackney is very different now, in some ways. There are fewer abandoned cars and more fixed-wheel bikes, fewer empty shops and more deli's, it's less edgy and deprived perhaps but still referencing edgy and deprived, ironically and with retro flair. Nevertheless for a big part of the population the last ten years evolution has meant nothing more than a greater range of things to feel excluded from. Hackney's underprivileged youth have yet to reap the benefits of the hipster influx and the two groups are suspicious if not hostile towards each other. The abandoned wrecks are off the streets now, but have they really gone away?
I might well never have remembered these images without accidentally finding them, which is a shame, not because I think they are particularly good, but because ten years on they form a historical record and serve as a reminder that photographing the ephemera of daily life can ground your recollections in interesting ways.