Volunteers of the Coriander Club and Spitalfields City Farm, London.

This series was commissioned by Alternative Arts to showcase the work of these volunteers at Spitalfields City Farm, just off Brick Lane, in the poorest borough in London, Tower Hamlets, East London. The photographs were all made on a 5 x 4 large format camera. Somehow in amongst the city, just off Brick Lane, in the middle of a council estate and hard against the railway, an oasis flourishes, allowing the inhabitants of this densely populated borough of Tower Hamlets, and notably poorest borough in London, to grow vegetables that feed the local community and, more importantly, offers an opportunity to garden – a right that few local residents have.
The Coriander Club is a group of Bangladeshi women who grow Asian fruit and vegetables at Spitalfields City Farm. All year round a group of a dozen or so women spend time tending the garden and the polytunnels at the farm. Many of the produce is recognisable—carrots, potatoes, etc—but many unusual vegetables including coriander, aubergines, chilli peppers and the most outrageous, large hanging ‘kordu’.
There are many people, mainly women, who volunteer year round to tend the animals at the farm. This work offers the opportunity to become active community members and encourages participation in the development of the farm. The farm is particularly keen to explore and promote the benefits of healthy and sustainable lifestyles and to sustainably manage natural ecosystems for the benefit of local wildlife and as a resource for education and recreation. Children and young people are given a safe, stimulating and inclusive space in which to play and to connect with nature. Often the volunteers have physical or learning disabilities and these volunteers are actively encouraged to interact with the public.

Finalist & Shortlisted Project screened at Voies Off Arles Photo Festival 
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