As gentrification sweeps every borough of London – far and wide – Inzajeano Latif is championing Tottenham in a new autobiographical series told through the real people who live there.
“We’ve been fucked by systemic structural racism. We’ve been shafted. We’ve been taken. We’ve been grafted for every morsel… and they are still doing it to us.” In Tottenham, Inz says the struggle for basic opportunities and the battle for survival are part of everyday life for the marginalised, while buildings are torn down and shiny new apartments pop up for those who see the area as the “next best thing” says Inz.
By 2015, diverse and authentic food places, shops and other spots were being replaced by hip cafés, vinyl stores and popups. The marketing brochures then suggested that Tottenham is now an attractive place to live and a prosperous hub for business.
Through his portraits therefore, Inz hopes to make the “invisible”, visible. He wants to celebrate the area’s rich past before it disappears forever. “Tottenham is vibrant, raw, rugged, with everything happening at once,” he says. “The streets are full of life, of hope, of resilience. It’s a resilient place where people are indestructible. They keep going.”
“It’s a place where real life happens and those real struggles that we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives, except here it’s everyone fighting these invisible walls put there by the powers that be. It would help if you had a sixth sense to navigate them. Last time I checked, there were over 20 languages spoken in Tottenham. You can taste the foods of the world, experience diverse cultures. It’s a beautiful example of cultural cohesion.”
This is Tottenham is a series Inz has been working on for over a decade. He adds: “Everyone has a story to tell, and strangely, we’re all fighting for the same cause in different ways.”