Brixton: the world famous – and sometimes infamous – district of London is a vibrant cultural melting pot south of the river. It’s birthed UK garage, early punk scenesters the Bromley Contingent, and Bowie onto the hallowed streets of Electric Avenue and the alcoves of the Toilet Factory. Most importantly, it’s home to one of the most diverse communities in the UK, one that’s had to deal with the jackhammering toll of gentrification over the past decade. Brixtonians hit back in widespread protest over the past year with Reclaim Brixton, and the latest offering to save its soul is photobook Great Brixton.
“A cultural crossroads for almost a millennium, today it’s changing fast: we wanted to document Brixton before it changes beyond recognition,” explains Great Brixton’s creative director Scott Leonard. “Protest comes in many forms – some people smash up estate agent windows, we got busy working out a way of capturing Brixton’s greatness forever.”
Sending a call out to the people of Brixton for images that capture its greatness, they received thousands of pictures. Whittled down to 273, it’s by and for the diverse community.
“The greatest threat to Brixton is not documenting its unique culture. Two copies of Great Brixton will be preserved in the British Library forever,” says Leonard.
Great Brixton illustrates a proud collective of people of different ages, races and genders enjoying the real lifestyle Brixton offers them, captured in vibrant images that document beautiful daily rituals and activities.
“Brixtonians stand strong – bound by their own ways of being. There’s a freedom rarely found anywhere else in the world that invites you to be you, regardless of sexuality, race or creed. One of the most revered towns in the kingdom, it can’t help but make you proud.”
You can buy Great Brixton from local Brixton suppliers and online here