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Rehan Jamil’s Whitechapel Portraits

June 6, 2017
by the gentle author

Photographer Rehan Jamil was commissioned by the Survey of London to take these portraits of local people in their homes for the Histories of Whitechapel project which is currently underway, recording not just the buildings but the ways of life of the residents – just as C.R. Ashbee did in his first volume of the Survey covering Trinity Green in 1895. An exhibition of these pictures is running currently at Aldgate Coffee House, 68 Whitechapel High St, E1 7PL

Tobaris Ali, Canon Street Rd – ‘I arrived in 1965 and became a volunteer at the mosque in 1976. It is a good area, good for education – I have grandchildren now and education is important’

Sabira Rouf, Royal Mint St – ‘ The older I get, the more I appreciate the area where I live. The richness of culture, diversity and community spirit is in direct contrast to the neighbouring City of London. I am grateful I am on this side.

Keith Harrington, Booth House, Whitechapel Rd – ‘We have a roof garden, it’s nice up there’

Alan Green, Victoria Park Sq – ‘I have lived here for almost twenty years now. My Dad grew up in the area before the Second World War, so it is been rather like coming home although it has changed a lot since then. I love the diversity and the real sense of pride in our history of welcoming and supporting immigrants from across the world.’

Suparna Roy Barman, Mansell St – ‘I feel at home in Whitechapel, I feel I have everything here so I can stay at home and experience everything. The city is on my door step and it is a creative area – art and culture are important to me.’

Tigs, Myrdle Court – ‘I have lived in Myrdle Court for nine years and it is a special place. There is a sense of community in the building that is rare in London.’

Anjali Chakrabarty, Whitechapel Rd – ‘I love living here, I use to work in a school close by.  I went on a Silver Surfer course and now I use the computer to talk to my mother in Bangladesh.’

Beattie Orwell, Collingwood Estate – ‘I used to love Whitechapel years ago, it was lovely – lovely shops, all the stalls – we used to walk around to see if we could find a young man. My kids all went to the Brady Centre Club, they could do with them clubs now.’

The Rahman family, Vallance Rd – ‘It is very nice to live within the community, everything literally in walking distance but also very expensive and overcrowded.’

Umer Farooq, Cable St – ‘It is a ground floor flat, so I have a garden which is really nice.’

Alex Rhys-Taylor, Brune St – ‘It is a privilege to live in Whitechapel, a part of London where local history and everyday life hold answers to some of the most pressing issues of our age.’

Farid Khan, Cephas St – ‘The school and hospital are close by. There are local people I know and traditional shops for special ingredients here.’

Photographs copyright © Rehan Jamil

Click here to make your contribution to the Survey of Whitechapel

You may also like to take a look at

Tex Adjetunmobi  Photos

Whitechapel Lads

Holland Estate Portraits

Whitechapel Kiosks

The Whitechapel Nobody Knows

6 Responses leave one →
  1. June 6, 2017

    Great photos of the diversity of people living in Whitechapel. Valerie

  2. June 6, 2017

    Everyone shown today just love Whitechapel in the East End some speak of their gardens I am sure they all would like gardens greenery is best. Many high risers have inside window boxes good moral boosters. Its just amazing at the density & people mix here it seems harmony does reign. I am thinking of Whitechapel Rd & of course Brick Lane shown many times on these pages with many cultures passing through the Lane. Poet John PS – Supporting Londoners at this time.

  3. June 6, 2017

    Lovely post and very timely.

  4. June 6, 2017

    The family of man, beautifully depicted. The optimism of these photos touched me today.
    Long live neighborhoods, and neighbors, and gardens, and window boxes — and
    Sending a salute from the Hudson River Valley in New York. Onward and upward.

  5. Tahidul Alom permalink
    June 18, 2017

    Amazing photos and a wonderful look into our beloved east London

  6. Imdad permalink
    June 18, 2017

    Great photos and some amazing words from the heart of East London.
    My personal favourite “The richness of culture, diversity and community spirit is in direct contrast to the neighbouring City of London” Sabrina Rouf
    Well done Rehan keep up the great work

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