As the glinting steel and mirror-glass skyscrapers of London’s financial hub edge ever closer, the area surrounding Hoxton Street has been transformed by ‘luxury’ redevelopments and sky-high property prices. This traditional East London street, less than a mile from the City of London, has become the last bastion of the areas disadvantaged – a concentration of the aged, poor and dispossessed. Hoxton Street’s close-knit working-class community has absorbed waves of immigrants since the 1950s. But as the traditional industry has declined, the latest influx of young urban hipsters followed closely by expensive restaurants, digital media start-ups, and corporate property developers has brought with it a deepening social and financial divide. Sensing they have been left behind, the street’s aging white residents lament the loss of their jobs and former ways of life, echoing the 52% who voted to leave the EU. Set against rapid gentrification, unregulated capitalism, years of austerity, the fallout from Grenfell, and the eruption of Brexit, the director’s feature-length debut is a tragicomic portrait of a street but a nation, waiting on the cusp of change.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Zed Nelson (1965, Kampala, Uganda) is a photographer, filmmaker, and author who lives in London. His work has been published and exhibited worldwide. Having gained recognition and major awards as a documentary photographer, Nelson has increasingly turned his focus on Western society, reflecting on contemporary social issues. Nelson’s work has been exhibited at Tate Britain, the ICA and the National Portrait Gallery, and is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.