Seeing Through Race: Tottenham Photography Project

Rebecca Thomas, Mark Sealy, Morgan Quaintance

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Seeing Through Race: Photographing Tottenham is an exhibition of photographs documenting the rich mix of cultures, peoples and businesses in the borough of Haringey. The student photographers involved worked directly with the people of Tottenham for several weeks, learning much about their lives, interests, and aspirations, and were given full and friendly access to the shops and businesses in the area. Initiated by the BA Honours Photography course at the University of Hertfordshire, the result is a complex and intriguing range of images, showing everything from the general layout and look of streets, shops and their interiors, to the specific detail of, for example, the hairs on the head of a wig on a hairdresser’s dummy.
During their extensive and largely self-motivated research the students learnt much about the backgrounds of the people they met, how their lives had developed over the last few years, as well as about their plan for future projects. The students also became aware, as can be seen from the photographs themselves, of many different cultural traditions and values, a process that encouraged them to think closely about their own histories, as much as about those of the people whose lives they recorded. The title of this exhibition, then, refers both to the act of looking closely at several communities but also to questioning the stereotypes imposed upon individuals and the cultures they represent.
Many people have helped in the realisation of this exhibition. Thanks should go to all the people of West Green Road, Tottenham who generously gave their time, memories and anecdotes about the area, providing the photographers with much food for thought, the project could not have been realised without their kind contributions. David Axelbank and Ingrid Pollard, the tutors who ensured the smooth running of the project in Tottenham itself, both made an immense contribution, as did two recent graduates whose guidance for the students was invaluable. Thanks are also due to Binod Thapa and Kiran Khamba (both 1st year students at The University of Hertfordshire) for their assistance in promoting the show.
We are very pleased to be able to use the Bernie Grant Arts Centre to present this work – thanks are especially due to John Mangal for liaising on this. Finally, the project would not have been possible without the encouragement and financial support of the University of Hertfordshire’s Diamond Trust Fund.
Last but not least, thanks must go to the photographers themselves, all of whom recently completed their degrees: Stephen Bain, Sandjena Barnes, Carrie Kitching, Beth Mulligan, Lilly Richardson, and Gurung Ghanashyam.
Rebecca Thomas, Exhibition facilitator and project initiator

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Hertfordshire Press
Number of pages60
ISBN (Print)978-1-909291-54-6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2014


  • Photography
  • inclusion


Dive into the research topics of 'Seeing Through Race: Tottenham Photography Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this