For the past five years, there’s been a bit of a thing going on every autumn in East London that aims to bring photography to as many people as possible. It’s the East London photomonth, with exhibitions, events, and activities taking place throughout October and November at a host of venues in places whose London postcodes begin ‘E’. Yes, they have called it ‘photomonth’ and it does span October and November. Interesting.
There is, however, so much going on that I can possibly forgive the organisers their somewhat loose definition of a month. You can sign up for a photowalk; have your portfolio reviewed by a bundle of professionals; attend a seminar or ten; buy some prints for charity; develop your skills at a workshop; or take a look at one of the literally hundreds of exhibitions that are being held in cafes, galleries, museums, libraries, pubs, and even record shops across the City, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets.
The exhibitions tend to be free, but if you’re dropping into Lock 7 to look at the photos of Dhaka’s rickshaw riders or having a browse of the Pictures of the Day at Tina, We Salute You (yes, that really is the name of a cafe), do have a coffee. On the other hand, the photowalks are about £20 and the lectures and seminars vary in price; the black and white processing and printing course is £85; a beginner’s guide to digital photography is £40.
Still, there’s nothing to stop you from taking a look at Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs of children at the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, the exhibition of photos documenting the Battle of Cable Street that’s in the Tower Hamlets Local History Library, or Hackney Observed at the Hackney Museum.
For the full run down, head over to the photomonth website, pick a day, and hit East London. (It’s not nearly as scary over here as you might think.)