Voices: East London

Editorial • 15/11/17

Your new coffee table book…

A new book by Maryam Eisler focuses on the vibrant unique spirit that courses through the veins of East London.  A series of interviews and an abundance of photographs all of which are shot by Eisler, range from local icons, celebrities and everyday people. These compiled encapsulate the true meaning of East London, Eisler pays close attention to the area’s current position in a time of political and economic upheaval whilst shining a light on its dramatic past. So why East London, we asked Maryam..?

Why East London, what was your initial connection to the area?

My contribution to two previous books, Sanctuary: Britain's Artists and their Studios as well as London Burning : Portraits from a Creative City, helped open my eyes to the hidden treasures of East London, its architecture, its waterways , its eateries, its sense of community and inclusivity and of course its artistic tribe. So I was intrigued by the idea of exploring the area further whilst investigating its creative psyche and soul, all the while dipping into its rich history.

Why do you think the eclecticism you portray within the book emerged so strongly in this part of London?

The layering of cultures and the contrasts of races, creeds, glitz and grits have acted as socio-cultural catalysts over time and history . This has encouraged tolerance, uniqueness and out of the box thinking !

When you approached the subjects/persons within the book how did they initially react?

With puzzled enthusiasm.

Advice for those who have not ventured to the true east London? 

If you don't try it , you will not have seen what London once was and how fun and colourful life can be. Be daring and take a ride to the wild side!

What changes do you think will happen in East London over the next 5 -10 Years?

Depending on whether the economy tanks or not as a result of Brexit and political uncertainty, the area is destined to transform - and not necessarily for the better. Are redevelopment and yuppification community enhancing ? I'm not entirely certain. Do they encourage creativity,  or do we actually need the tension between the aforementioned glitz and grits to nurture imagination, innovation and creativity? Will multiculturalism prevail,  or are we facing unknown tensions as a consequence of economic disfunction and a virulent strain of nationalism and populism ?

Faites vos jeux !

Quickfire Q&A Maryam…

What is Maryam’s personal style signifier?

'Urban Cosmo cowgirl' - jeans and ponchos rule! And she never leaves home without her hand stitched Cowboy boots and Native American jewellery picked up on one of her photographic adventures in New Mexico...

Where can Maryam be found when not writing and photographing?

Exploring the edge - wherever that may be!

What brands does Maryam rely on in both fashion and beauty?

A dash of Marni and a splash of Gucci , with an icing of Isabel Marant ... I keep my feet comfortable in Golden Goose or with Adidas Ultra Boosts ! I'm a sucker for Tom Ford makeup packaging - slick, minimalist and no nonsense. Sheer quality and worth every penny!

What is Maryam eyeing up for her wardrobe next?

A pair of bell bottom vintage trousers for my 70s disco book launch party at the Working Men's Club in Bethnal Green !

Best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Look life in the face and don't flinch !

 Voices: East London available here:  


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