As Liam O’Brien wrote on The Independent “It’s easy to miss Cricklewood if you happen to be passing through it. The Cricklewood Broadway, which sounds far more glamorous than the road it describes”, hosts predominantly warehouses, department stores, fast foods and a gigantic Beacon Bingo hall. These are the main features of the North London suburb where I used to live.

Even if some people say that “the best thing that could happen to Cricklewood Broadway would be to increase the speed limit so that you can get through it faster”, residents sometimes call the suburb “the centre of the universe” because the Broadway (the old Roman Watling Street, one of Britain’s greatest arterial roads of the Roman and post-Roman periods) is part of the A5 routeway. The road, like the past, has been built upon by layers of emigration, and marks out Cricklewood as a stopping place for travelers and traders across centuries. It's been at the heart of immigration to London and as a result it is inhabited by people from all over the world.

The commercial activities along the A5 routeway are the mirror of Cricklewood’s community and this is why I have chosen them to describe through the photographs my suburb, as they represent the b-side of the London everyone knows. Far away from any well-known touristic landmark, house-shaped warehouses aiming to fulfill everybody’s needs overlook the main road. At first glance, they seem to have been built up without apparent order, but they perfectly fit in an environment resulting from a layering emigration, where different cultures live, work and coexist together.

Finding inspiration, among the other photographers, in Bernd and Hilla Becher’s work, I have chosen a documentary style to describe the landscape of Cricklewood focusing on forms and black and white tones. I concentrated my shooting sessions early in the morning, usually during the weekends, when the A5 routeway is not affected by traffic jams and I preferred rainy days to avoid shadows.

Working with a rigorous approach, I shot pictures showing settings where people inside and outside the buildings are not directly acknowledged. The final result of my work is a series of straight images which never display any hint of labor, activity or motion—human or otherwise, and where the shapes become the subject of an unfamiliar London landscape.

Using Format