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Parfett Street Evictions 1973 David Hoffman Cafe Royal Books

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David Hoffman has worked as an independent photojournalist specialising in social issues since the mid-1970s. He is a board member of the British Photographic Council and a founding member of the Editorial Photographers UK, the NUJ London Photographers’ Branch and Photo-Forum London.

Evictions. Myrdle and Parfett St 1973 features David’s photos taken during a series of evictions between 1973-1976 and was originally self-published by David in 1976  as an edition of 50. It is considered to be the first protest photobook published in the UK.  This publication is a version of that original photobook this time published by Cafe Royal Books.

David explains, ‘The East End that I found when I arrived in 1970 was a different world to today’s bustling, regulated prosperity. Bombsites and tumbledown, near-derelict housing were the unremarkable norm. Walking home from my truck driving job to my rented slum room in Chicksand Street I would step carefully over gutters running with blood from the Lewcopak Kosher Chicken slaughterhouse emptying its tanks at the end of each day.

Residents’ main source of income had evaporated as the docks and their many supporting trades closed down. Racism festered among the older population of white workers whose community was being destroyed by a lack of jobs and resentment stoked by their crumbling council estates. The area was abandoned, poverty and hopelessness hung in the air. Empty shells of buildings sheltered the most desperate homeless, mostly alcoholics, crazed by drinking meths and surgical spirit. Violence was common.

Tumbledown, leaky old houses made for easy squats or cheap rents and began to attract impoverished students, artists, political activists and young Bangladeshi men working in the rag trade. Slowly a younger, more able population emerged and the little corner shops and cafés became busier. Life started to return to the streets.

These books document aspects of that metamorphosis, capturing the lives that set the scene for what was on the brink of becoming just another anodyne, bustling, gentrified, high value inner-city district.’

David Hoffman December 13th 2021

Café Royal Books publishes limited edition Photobooks coveted by fans and collected by major institutions. The Zines focus on British documentary photography. Café Royal is run and founded by Craig Atkinson. Craig explains ‘My aim is to create a focussed and complete archive of British documentary photography. I publish roughly 70 titles each year with a small edition ‘archive box’ every 100th title. These archive boxes are aimed at major collections, libraries and museums — helping to increase the visibility of the work and making the books publicly accessible for as long as possible. Collectors are wide and varied but include, MoMA NY, Harvard University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, The British Library, The Hyman Collection, Martin Parr Foundation, TATE, V&A / National Art Library’.

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Additional information

Weight 80 g
Dimensions 16.0 × 0.5 × 23.0 cm

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