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Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point

2 December - 16 March 2024

The new exhibition at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives reveals the dramatic events in 1978 which were sparked by the racist murder of Altab Ali, a 24-year-old Bengali leather garments worker, and pays tribute to the activists who mobilised around the rallying cry of justice that followed.

Local photographer Paul Trevor documented how members of the local Bengali community endured racial abuse as a constant factor of everyday life, and the moment at which they mobilised against racist violence and institutional police racism. The exhibition – Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point - brings together seventy of Trevor’s photographs as well as original archival materials and first person testimony.

The exhibition will be on show from Saturday 2 December until Saturday 16 March 2024.

The display was originally created in 2022 as part of a major heritage project led by Four Corners and Swadhinata Trust, in partnership with Paul Trevor and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. With the help of volunteers and original activists, the project created a record of this watershed moment as told by local people.

Photograph (c) Paul Trevor of an anti-racist protest in Brick Lane, 1978.