Part guide book, part cultural museum, part love letter, Good News Hackney tells the story of the London Borough of Hackney in the 21st Century as it hurtles head first into the future while still dragging the past behind it.
The photographs and headlines in this book capture a day in the life of special slice of London. There are no people here, just the marks they leave behind on impassive city that could not care less.
For the past seven years, Good News Hackney has been affectionately satirising, cataloguing and chronicling the weird and wonderful sights that make Hackney, Hackney.
At once ostentatious and flash, modest and effortless, Hackney is a place where the past competes for space with the future, the very rich rub up against the very poor and the rest of us endure the ‘very cool’ in a warren of ancient streets. All life is here, standing on the wrong side of the escalator FaceTiming their annoying mate.
To some extent, it has always been like this. Stretching from the digital highlands of ‘Tech City’ to the ancient mists of the Lea Valley marshes, Hackney has always been a place of extremes. But today more than ever the people that built the cultures so readily commoditised by flash media men and soulless developers are under extraordinary pressure. As always Hackney carries on in the face of relentless turbocharged change and a seemingly endless onslaught new neighbours, often oblivious to their own insensitivity.
Hackney is the front line of gentrification. London is changing fast and if you take the time to notice the obvious you can learn a lot about the city it was, and the sometimes unrecognisable place it is becoming.
This is a coffee table book for people who wish they had room for a coffee table. Funny, sad, confusing and intriguing, Good News Hackney presents a series of pathetic, hilarious and touchingly optimistic juxtapositions found on the streets of North East London, framing them through the prism of a decade of hyperbolic Hackney Gazette headlines.
This is the London Borough of Hackney in all of its chaotic confusing glory: parodied to the point of obliteration; crowned the ‘coolest neighbourhood on earth’ by Vogue, ‘worst town in Britain’ Channel 4 and ‘least affordable place to live’ by the Office for National Statistics.
Like all truly great things, Hackney is complicated and best looked at up close. A riddle wrapped in a mystery stuck inside an old pizza box lying in the gutter outside a £1.5million one bedroom flat. This is the London Borough of Hackney in all of its chaotic confusing glory.