‘The Ghetto’ 3D Photographic Model, Tom Hunter, 1994
The photographic model ‘The Ghetto’ was created in 1994 by Tom Hunter when he lived in a squatted community in Hackney. The title for the series comes from the local paper the Hackney Gazette, which printed an article about his community.
One part of the ‘The Ghetto’ article describes the neighbourhood as “a crime-ridden, derelict ghetto, a cancer-a blot on the landscape” and asks “Why would people want to live there anyway?” Tom Hunter’s work destroys this negative stereotypical view of squatting life and creates a work of art, which celebrates a thriving, alternative community.
The photographs and model formed part of a campaign to save the community from developers and Hackney council. The work was first exhibited as Tom Hunter’s degree show at the London College of Printing, and was purchased by the Museum of London in 1995. On May the 28th 2010 ‘The Ghetto’ went on permanent display in the Museum of London’s new Modern London Galleries. Eighteen years later the same community is still there and at the heart of a thriving Hackney neighbourhood. Tom Hunter still lives in the neighbourhood he helped to survive.