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Dispersal: Picturing Urban Change in East London


Dispersal is a unique photographic record of Stratford’s industrial and historical past.

Marion Davies and Debra Rapp photographed over seventy large and small businesses between November 2005 and June 2007, before the businesses were issued with Compulsory Purchase Orders in order to make way for the Olympic Park. Their photographs capture the personalities, the workplaces and the atmosphere of this historic part of London.  From belt manufacturers to kebab makers, salmon smoking and spare car-part suppliers to zinc galvanizers: this area was a melting pot of industries and trades.

This photographic series has caught the imagination of those interested in London’s social and economic history, as well as the business community, photography and art enthusiasts, Londoners and tourists alike.

A selection of images has been exhibited at the Thames Gateway Forum, the opening of the H Forman & Son smoked salmon factory, the Rosetta Windows Gallery, a pop-up exhibition funded by the Architecture Foundation and at the View Tube, opposite the Olympic Park.

Prints from the series have been acquired by the Museum of London.

Dispersal: Picturing Urban Change in East London was published by Historic England in September 2017.

It is beautifully produced and showcases over 200 photographs alongside specialist insight from Juliet Davis, Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design.

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