Thu 6 October 2022 – Tue 1 August 2023

Bengali Photography Archive

© Raju Vaidyanathan, 1986, 'Outside Ali Brothers’ grocery shop, Fashion St'

A new collection of images celebrating London's Bengali community life

Brick Lane and its Bengali residents have for many years provided rich material for photographers. Yet the majority of what is publicly-accessible are images captured by outsiders looking in, people passing through, rather than emerging from the experience of the people and communities actually living in the area.

The Bengali Photography Archive will bring together a new collection of images celebrating Bengali community life in East London and surrounding boroughs, past and present. From candid street photography to posed family portraits, the archive will speak to a rich, but often underrepresented, cultural history, from the perspective of those who lived it. We invite volunteers to join us in discovering and documenting this chronicle of everyday life.

A collaboration by Four Corners and Swadhinata Trust, the project runs until summer 2023. The photographs will be lodged at the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archive, and will also be accessible online, alongside audio and filmed recordings of people’s memories.


Interested in volunteering?
We welcome anyone with an interest in the history of Bengali life in the UK, and archiving, to get involved. More information about volunteering will be available in the Autumn.

Would you like to contribute your photographs?
More information about how you can get involved is coming soon. 

Find out more
Project launch – Saturday 1 October 2022
Join us for a session celebrating the launch of this important archive and find out how you can get involved. 



This project is supported as part of Historic England’s Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories, and made possible with the kind support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of Four Corners' Hidden Histories programme.