I visited the Nottinghill Carnival on the Bank Holiday. The recent fire at Grenfell Tower was a close and present experience, with lots of graffiti like this
And this trying to express, grief, anger, solidarity and strength all at the same time
London’s motifs like the Underground symbol had been co-opted to become the theme of the the Carnival
These symbols told their own story, for people who weren’t there and who like me can’t really know the depth of pain that the local community are going through.
However, by Latimer Road tube station, under the Westway there is a more simple and powerful memorial. Against one of the concrete columns that holds the road up is a collection of homemade posters. Some ask why, some ask for prayer, some ask if bystanders know the whereabouts of the missing. I have only seen similar posters in photographs taken in Post War Germany where people try to locate their missing family members. This was not, however, history, this was the 21st Century and expression of grief and loss in the now, not the past.
I have hesitated to post these pictures but feel, on reflection, that the place needs to be recorded as the images speak with an eloquence and power that is hard to improve on. The loss at Grenfell Tower cannot be ignored, it cannot be rubbed out or removed. As you pass on the Tube you can see the tower.
These pictures sum up a community’s loss and call for, not only empathy, but justice.
Click here to see the whole set