We’re delighted to present an exhibition celebrating East London’s Bengali activists of 1978.
10 June – 10 September
Free Entry | No booking required
Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm
Closed on Mondays and Sundays
This exhibition reveals the dramatic events which were sparked by the racist murder of Altab Ali, a 24-year-old Bengali leather garments worker, and pays tribute to the activists who mobilised around the rallying cry of justice that followed.
Local East End photographer Paul Trevor documented how members of the local Bengali community endured racial abuse as a constant factor of everyday life, and the moment at which they mobilised against racist violence and institutional police racism. The exhibition brings together 75 of Trevor’s photographs for the first time, alongside oral history recordings by original activists.
The show marks the culmination of a major heritage project led by Four Corners and Swadhinata Trust, in partnership with Paul Trevor. With the help of volunteers and original activists, the project is creating a record of this watershed moment as told by local people. The exhibition, alongside project oral history interviews, short films and podcasts, will be available as a touring show, and will be lodged at the Bishopsgate Institute Archives.
Exploring the 1978 anti-racist uprising led by East London’s Bengali community.
Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point is a major heritage project exploring this history.
With the help of volunteers and original activists, we are creating a vital record of this watershed moment as told by local people.
4 MAY 1978
A young Bengali garment worker is found dead near Brick Lane; yet another racially-motivated attack endured by the Asian population of East London. This time however, things are different. The brutal murder of Altab Ali mobilises the community to take action.
14 MAY 1978
7,000 Bengalis march from Brick Lane to Hyde Park then Downing Street behind Ali’s coffin, in an unprecedented uprising against racist far-right groups. Their actions represent a turning point in resistance against racial discrimination. East London will change for good.
The project will produce:
an archive of photographs and oral histories
a short documentary film
a touring exhibition
a free public events programme
a study pack for schools
DO YOU REMEMBER THE BATTLE OF BRICK LANE?
We are seeking participants to be interviewed for the Brick Lane 1978 project.
Renowned photographer Paul Trevor captured the May 1978 protests. We are using his never-before-seen images to help identify and gather the memories of those involved at the time, and we need your help.
Were you living in the Brick Lane area during the late 1970s?
Do you remember the anti-racist protests galvanised by the murder of Altab Ali?
Were you involved in the protests, either as an activist or witness?
Four Corners believes in film and photography for all. As a registered charity, our work builds upon almost 50 years of radical, socially-engaged approaches to photography and film. Situated on Read more…
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