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Women Of Bethnal Green At Work

November 9, 2022
by the gentle author

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Merle Curtis, Sultana Begum, Armagan Middlemast & Husna Begum, Tower Hamlets Food Bank


Contributing Photographer Sarah Ainslie‘s exhibition opens tomorrow November 10th and runs until March 31st 2023 at Oxford House, Bethnal Green


Women of Bethnal Green at Work has emerged from a collaboration with some of the amazing women in the area and celebrates the rich variety of the work they do. The generosity of these women who welcomed me into their working lives to photograph them is a testament to their indomitable spirit. Searching and finding women to take part has been an adventure and I am grateful to all those who helped by passing on names and ideas. I have encountered a range of work across launderettes, the Underground, café kitchens, care homes, food banks, the fire service, funeral directors, the Post Office, freelance electricians, artists, seamstresses and many more unsung women who sustain and bind together the special community of Bethnal Green with their warmth, labour and friendship”.

Sarah Ainslie


Afa Simpson, Painter, Decorator & Clown

Donna Wood, Postwoman, Royal Mail

Claire Carmelo, Customer Service Assistant, Bethnal Green Station

Kelly Wood, Carer, Silk Court Care Home

Kellyan Saunders, Manager, Oxfam Shop

Lucinda Rogers, Artist

Maria & Anna Pellicci,  E Pellicci

Nafisa & Marlene, Newmans’ Stationery

Rachel Hippolyte, Education Manager, Spitalfields City Farm

Anita Patel, Tesco

Photographs copyright © Sarah Ainslie

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Andy permalink
    November 9, 2022

    I find these photos great.

  2. November 9, 2022

    What beautiful pictures Sarah! So much life and love and joy in these women who are working hard to help everyone around them.

  3. Mark permalink
    November 9, 2022

    Noble, human, life.

  4. Annie S permalink
    November 9, 2022

    Great, I will go and have a look when I’m in the area, I recognise the lady from the Oxfam shop.

  5. November 9, 2022

    What a wonderful project. More superb photographs from Sarah Ainslie.

  6. November 9, 2022

    Sarah Ainslie’s photos are always a high point. Thank you, GA and Sarah for introducing us to
    these intrepid women of your community. As always, Spitalfields Life is a beacon of
    optimism and creativity.

    Thanks for shining a light.

  7. G.E. Stinson permalink
    November 9, 2022

    Beautiful! Much respect to all.

  8. cherub permalink
    November 10, 2022

    These photos prove there is joy in work, whether it’s paid or voluntary.

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