Soho Phoneboxes

Soho Phoneboxes. Soho was a place London could be proud of. Home to specialist book shops, independent music shops, family run deli's and the famous Central Saint Martin's Art School. In the centre lay Britain's film production industry alongside sleazy titty bars and London's rag trade. In 2009, building of the new Crossrail system started and this saw the famous gig venue The Astoria demolished and slowly but surely the commercial rents increased. The independent businesses started to suffer, the ease of the corporate coffee bar started to invade like a viral infection, the bohemian edge to our Soho has been replaced by a pseudo hipster dilettantism exploited by chain stores and 'trendy' ad agencies. These photographs are not merely evidence of an inner city clean up, but more of a metaphor of what has become of some of our most precious and existing aspects of inner cities. The corporatising of life has been something that has insidiously happened; beyond our control since the boom of Apple, Starbucks and beyond. We can't control that nor can we stop it; but what we can try to do is fight for the individualism of the lone trader, artist, musician and resident. Our cities are living histories of such people so we can only hope that the 'cleaning up' of them doesn't wipe out what makes us original.

CM 2015