Take a stroll down Roman Road market with photographer Wedgley Snipes.
People have been ‘going down the Roman’ for over 150 years. Fashions have changed and the lockdowns of 2020 have brought social distancing measures of red and white bollards and masks, but ultimately, little has changed.
Many of the barrows – that’s stalls to non-East Enders – are the same as they’ve always been – piled high with discount clothes from French Connection or Primark (with the labels cut out), real or otherwise designer bags, and children’s toys.
As street food has risen in popularity, Saint Sugar of London, Paola Polenta, and the Gözleme stand have sprung up to feed hungry shoppers. But as well as the place to pick up lunch from Danny’s Super Chef Caribbean Grill or a filled donut from Andy, it’s simply a place to hang out, have a laugh or sit on a bench to catch up with friends.
Local zine-maker photographer Wedgely Snipes shares his favourite snaps of The Roman’s colourful characters, met during his trips through the market.
‘It got to a point when I realised I was taking myself too seriously. All the people I photographed (from a social distance) and all the people I chatted to (from a social distance), they didn’t take themselves too seriously. They just got on with things. Went about their day. And it was just that — local people, living their daily life in extraordinary times. That’s what inspired me. That’s what I hope I’ve captured.’
If you enjoyed this photoessay, take a look at our insider’s guide to East London markets.
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