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#HackneyIsHome - Your Pictures

POSTED: 23 April 2021

Your photographs on the theme Hackney Is Home  📸

The London Borough of Hackney has a rich history; from its beginnings as Roman farmlands, Hackney has moved and changed with the times, providing a home to a wealth of different communities, including members of the Windrush generation as well as the Hasidic Jewish community of Stamford Hill in the north of the borough.

Autograph is proud to be based in Hackney and as part of the #HackneyIsHome project, we invited the public to join us in celebrating the many perspectives and experiences of home, identity and community life in our diverse borough. And the response has been amazing.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your images and stories with us. Below we share 29 photographs, selected from over 100 submissions – along with commentary from the photographers. We hope you enjoy looking through them as much as we have.

Manal Massalha, Convivial Hackney, 2019

"One of the beautiful things about Hackney is the open, democratic and inclusive public places it offers where everyone feels welcome"

Heather McDonough, Cliff's Mother, from the series RePose. 01

"Ann goes to church every Sunday. She has lived in the same house for over fifty years. She cooks traditional Caribbean cuisine, and hardly goes out to dine. She loves to garden and she has amazing green fingers, she has planted camelia, potatoes, runner beans and more. She lives with her grandchildren. Ann is over eighty. This portrait is based on Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, often titled 'Whistler's Mother', by James McNeill Whistler."

Eithne Nightingale, from Life Under Lockdown 2020: objects that have sustained us

Robert Huggins, East reservoir, Hackney

"Family walk about on a summer afternoon"

Tommy Sussex, Regent’s Canal, London, 2020

Jenny Lewis, Sonia and Florenca32/100 Years

"This portrait was taken for my new series One Hundred Years which links to my series One Day Young.

One Day Young consists of 150 portraits, taken over five years. The women are intimately captured back in their own homes, within 24 hours of the birth, challenging the usual sterile hospital images that inform our collective image of this moment. These women exude strength, identity intact rather than the anonymous mother stripped of self. Instead of fear we are presented with triumph. This intimacy and transparency is a defiant statement of activism."

Jane Cocklin, Hoxton Street Market shadowed by The City of London

"This street still remains relatively unchanged to date and is a community of families that have lived here for generations."

Eithne Nightingale, from Life Under Lockdown 2020: objects that have sustained us

Jenny Matthews, Negist Araya from Ethiopia. Cook and caterer, from the project Hackney All Nations

"I came to England as an asylum seeker but I have my citizenship now. I feel at home in London because I have my little family here, I’m more comfortable here. I like lots of things about Hackney – the activities for children, the things to do – the market. It’s a very cheap place to live as well, everything I need I can find near to my place – Hackney style. Hackney is a good area with a big mix of nationalities, especially here in the market – there’s Pakistani bread, Afghan carpets, everything."

"I met Negist when she had a stall in Ridley Road but unfortunately the market wasn’t ready for Negist and her wonderful food so she gave up her pitch."

Nathaniel Plevyak, Community Gym

"During the UK's first national lockdown all gyms and leisure centres were ordered to close for a number of months to stop the spread of coronavirus. As a result, many Londoners found inventive ways to remain fit and healthy."

Tamibé Bourdanné

"I was cycling to attend the BLM protest when I captured this shot. These people opened their doors to me to have food and drinks as they were partying outside in street party tradition."

David J. Adams, Barry, Springfield Tennis, 2020

Francesco Fantini, Hackney Lea River Canal, 2021

Anna Lerner, Koray barbershop, Dalston / Stoke Newington, 2006

"This image is from my Barbershop series. Living in Hackney at the time, I was drawn to the proliferation, variety and character of the independent barbershops on and around Stoke Newington High Street. The barbershop, each distinct in character and clientele, was an expression of identity and achievement, a focal point for community, and a chance to take time out. Many were owned by those that had come to the UK from Turkey and made it their home. I spent time in two barbershops and photographed the owners, barbers (sometimes one and the same), customers, visitors and environment."

Jacqueline Ennis-Cole, Keng Keng, 2020

"Keng Keng lives in Hackney with her Scottish Partner and their son Lua"

Anastasia Giobbe, Resident of a retirement apartment, 2020

"Residents of this extra care housing enjoying an on-site live show"

Goldenrayes, Lower Clapton in Hackney, East London, 2020

"Hackney is where I call home. I grew up on a council estate similar to the one in the photo, next door to a Jamaican family but across the block was a Ghanaian family and a few doors down, a Bengali family and a Vietnamese family. That is the kind of vibe you get in Hackney, a melting pot of various cultures. The characters you find walking down the street and the various cultures in the area are some of the best things about the London borough."

Jenny Matthews, Suley Diarra, from MaliFrom the project Hackney All Nations

"When I first met Suley he was working as a barista in E5 bakery. Now he has a son and has been caring for him."

Tamara Rabea, young Hackney photographer capturing Ridley Road Market as part of Hackney Pirates photo workshop, 2019

Diego Martinez Chacon, Sean, 2020

"With his long dreadlocked hair always wrapped around his head, his black Ray Bans Aviators always on, Guinness always in hand, dog by his side, and his baby-dummy bottle opener necklace, Sean has been a Shoreditch legend for almost 35 years."

Nathaniel Plevyak, Party in the River Lea

"The British are obsessed with warm weather. The first sign of sunny weather and beer gardens fill up, BBQs come out, shorts on, shirts off, and sunscreen caked on. But with pubs, gyms and just about everything in-between shut during the first national lockdown, Londoners became restless. Although the UK was under strict stay-at-home orders, as the weeks drew on and temperatures soared, Londoners flocked to green spaces and riverside locations to enjoy the perfect weather. Lockdown in London was arguably unlike anywhere else."


Find out more about the #HackneyIsHome project.

Read about the Call for Photographs, and the panel that selected these images.


Can you spare a few moments? Autograph is carrying out a survey to better understand who our digital audiences are. The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Anything you tell us will be kept confidential, is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

The information you provide will be held by Autograph and The Audience Agency, who are running the survey on our behalf. In compliance with GDPR, your data will be stored securely and will only be used for the purposes it was given.

You can take the survey here. Thank you!


#HackneyIsHome is supported by Hackney Council’s Shoreditch and Hoxton Arts Fund, created from a levy on developers to support arts and culture programmes that bring different communities together.

Also supported by Hackney
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England


All images © and courtesy the artists.

Banner image: Florian Sachisthal, Ext. Hackney Garden – Day [detail]