Tuesday, 8 July 2008

New Project, "Streets Of Stirchley", July 2008

Images from a new series of work, centred on the main shopping area in Stirchley, Birmingham. One by one, the independent shops and businesses close, the area becomes run-down and people stop visiting the few shops that remain. Tesco is planning to open a new supermarket. The story is familiar across the UK, Europe, the West. The spirit, personality and identity of local areas slowly gets squeezed out and what remains will be the same faceless, homogenous, sterile environment that we're all becoming used to seeing. The local residents have set up an action group in resistance to Tesco's proposed development - which will directly face a large superstore which has been established for many years. Is there any need for this new store? Or is the omnipresent Tesco yet again planting roots and laying claim to another local shopping district?

My aim with this new project is to document the places and later the people who still make a living with their independent shops and businesses. Some of them are barely making enough to survive. This is an ongoing look at how a high street can slowly yet surely give way to the market forces of the economy and how it seems to fall apart before our eyes. There is always hope though, and it's by no means dead and buried yet - Tesco or no Tesco...

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