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Paul Trevor In Brick Lane, 1978

June 26, 2020
by the gentle author

Photographer Paul Trevor captured the drama of Brick Lane during the summer of 1978 when protests erupted after the racist murder of Altab Ali, a twenty-five-year-old leather garment worker, on May 4th.

Now a project is underway to trace the people in these photographs and record personal accounts of this transformative moment in racial politics in the East End when people organised to fight back against racism. The aim is to gather an archive of oral histories leading to an exhibition at Four Corners Gallery in Bethnal Green next year.

If you are in these photographs or you can identify anyone, or you would like to contribute your personal experiences of these events, please email

Marching down Brick Lane

This woman carries a Campaign Against Racism & Fascism paper with the story of Altab Ali’s murder

Community Gathering

Writers’ Group

Members of the Bangladesh Youth Front

Anti-racist protest in Bethnal Green

Photographs copyright © Paul Trevor

7 Responses leave one →
  1. June 26, 2020

    Brilliant and so timely project when yet again race relations and inequalities are so much at the forefront of our news. Wish the Four Corners Gallery all the best with tracking and tracing. X

  2. June 26, 2020

    Wow ! Yes I recognise quite a few faces, including some good friends ! Very fine images of then & showing that struggle is constant. Thank you.

  3. June 26, 2020

    The newspaper in the photo captioned “This woman carries a Campaign for Equal Rights newspaper with the story of Altab Ali’s murder” is actually from the “Campaign Against Racism & Fascism” published by an anti-racist collective between 1977 & 1979.

  4. June 26, 2020

    This takes “facial recognition” to a new-and-improved level. And while we are looking at the
    amazing faces, how about the HANDS in this series? I couldn’t stop looking at the placement and expression of hands, throughout. Take another look.

    Please keep us updated about the progress of this venture, GA.

    Stay safe, all.

  5. June 26, 2020

    Forgive a second comment, but I very much agree about the placement & expression of hands (as well as faces) throughout : I think it reflects the astonished intensity of those days

  6. Carla Mitchell permalink
    June 27, 2020

    Stephen Watts, we would love to hear who you recognised! Please do contact us.
    Many thanks
    Carla at Four Corners

  7. Duncan Blackmore permalink
    February 18, 2022

    The woman holding the child in the last photo is my Mum.

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