Filming Charles Booth's map at the Tower Hamlets Archive
 courtesy of Richard Wiltshire

Filming Charles Booth's map at the Tower Hamlets Archive
 courtesy of Richard Wiltshire

THE RESEARCH
Venturing into the heart of East London's impoverished slums in 1902, Jack London, an American journalist and writer, captured the stark realities of the time through a lens of compassion.  His seminal work, 'People of the Abyss,' serves as a poignant first-hand account of the destitution that plagued the East End during the coronation of King Edward VII.
'Out of the Abyss,' is a film inspired by London's evocative photographs taken in the aftermath of his immersive experience. 
Employing a forensic approach, I meticulously researched the same locations in modern-day London, navigating the challenges posed by Jack London's vague references, such as the loosely described "A place in Hoxton." Filmed during the 70th Jubilee, marking the longest reign of a British monarch, and completed in the year of a new British king's coronation, 'Out of the Abyss' unfolds as an experimental exploration of social change, gentrification, and the evolving standards of living. A juxtaposition with a historical narrative from a time when the United Kingdom, despite being the wealthiest nation, grappled with extreme poverty, offers insights into the enduring complexities of societal shifts.
I also shot a page of the Charles Booth’s 1st edition map - held at the Tower Hamlets Archive - the image you see at the top of the page - which I used extensively on my research.
Below lies the research grid, aligned with the pages of Jack London's book, providing a comparative lens extending a century into the future. The blue maps are printscreens from the Indices of Deprivation Website from 2019 and 2015, offering a comprehensive snapshot of the ongoing socio-economic landscape.
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