London Street Photography

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The Independent Culture

An extraordinary collection of street photography will open to the public at the Museum of London from tomorrow.

Showcasing snaps dating from 1860 right up to the present day, the collection captures ordinary people going about their daily lives in the street.

From dirty-faced street urchins and corseted magazine sellers in the 19th Century, to skinheads and hippies in the Seventies, the photographs produce striking messages about the times in which they were taken.

Images of police intervening in tension between the National Front and Brick Lane’s Bangladeshi community in the 1970s (above) are juxtaposed with racial integration, and relationships, in Portobello Road’s ‘Piss House Pub’ – the local name for the pub on the corner of Blenheim Crescent – in 1968.

Highlights include David Gibson’s 2008 photograph ‘Audition’, which captures a gaggle of sequin-clad little girls waiting impatiently for their turn. While Mimi Mollica’s ‘Homeless, 1997’ shows the contrast between the lives advertised to us on billboards and the reality, the sleeping impoverished, whom we daily walk by.

‘London Street Photography’ opens tomorrow until 4 September 2011 at Museum of London,