Our kids are going to hell, part 2

Back in 2009 Iain wrote an introduction to a book by photographer Robin Maddock. It was a book documenting police raids in Hackney. The book was called OUR KIDS ARE GOING TO HELL and was published by Trolley Books.

In light of the recent events in the UK, that introduction (titled “Raid”) feels pertinent and makes for an interesting read.

Link to the article


Back in 2009 Robin Maddock wrote a post for this website to introduce his book Our Kids are Going to Hell: December 2008-January 2009. The email Robin sent went lost in the huge backlog of my mailbox. Apologies to Robin. It’s never to late to post something interesting, I hope. Here you go:


There are many Hackneys, but this is the one I kept thinking about while I lived there. I wanted to know what was at the end of the sirens and flashing lights?


These minor drug raids are events that often don’t even make the local newspapers. Yet the shame is one that anyone would face, it lies in the washing up, ones pornography, or being literally caught with your trousers down.


In briefing before to raids I’ve heard what the suspects have done to other people, seen their faces. I can’t feel empathy for either side. These are cold pictures about a wider view.


A lifestyle of hustle is now a product our Mainstream media feeds off. So to be hand cuffed with your parents by twenty masked police in your bedroom, is now  part of a wider confusing picture of Britain.


Drugs are valued equally by both sides, so are usually glamorous in their absence. In these pictures they are only another currency, not a means of prosecution.


Appearances in this big dark city often deceive. People in this book have not necessarily done anything for which they ought be prosecuted. In turn, doubtless some have done far more than they will ever be held to account for.


This is not the aim of this project, rather it is condition of lost meaning and toxic poverty of spirit. No single person can either symbolise or represent this. Neither is it enough to say ‘that’s its how it’s always been’, it is particular.


The main suspect here is this landscape, the contrasts in Hackney’s built fabric speaks for all of our collective disregard. Yet I hope those who know Hackney will recognise more than just the locations shown here.


Between 2005 and 2008 I found that there’s usually nothing at the end of the flashing lights, the real story as ever, is elsewhere.








Iain to contribute to the Help Siva initiative

Iain has decided to contribute to the Help Siva initiative.

“I have decided to offer a copy of a first edition hardback of ‘Ghost Milk’, which I would inscribe with a special handwritten dedication (for this event). Along with a signed copy of the limited edition booklet, ‘American Smoke’. These books will be sent to the highest bidder. With the money going to the Siva fund.”

This is how it is going to work, and keep in mind this is an informal auction:

1) bids to be sent to helpsiva@iainsinclair.org.uk

2) bidding will close on 27/08/2011 at noon

3) highest bidder will be contacted by email and receive instructions to make payment

4) only two payment options are available:

– a cheque (accepted in the UK): following receipt of the cheque Iain will post, at his own expenses, the 2 books and the cheque will go to the help Siva initiative.

– cash with self-collection – with the added bonus of meeting Iain in person.

Bid generously and if you didn’t win the auction, you could still offer the money to the Help Siva fund or other similar initiatives.

Rebuilding after Hackney Riots: Help Siva

Hi IanYou may have heard about Siva, a local shopkeeper in Clarence Road, Hackney, whose shop was devastated in the riots. With buildings insurance but no contents insurance, he has been left with 25 pence to his name, and no means of income. Yesterday a group of local people set up www.helpsiva.com.

Within a few short hours, the site had raised around £5,000. In the same way that social media fanned the flames of the riot, it is also providing a rapid response to the situation. Rebuilding trust and confidence is going to be a long difficult task, but restocking Siva’s shelves is something that we can do quickly and effectively if we all pull together. Please donate as much as you can through the link and forward it to anyone who may be interested..

Website www.helpsiva.com Twitter #helpsiva).

A couple of local events are also being organised…

There will be a Community Tea Party on Clarence Rd, a week after the riots, on Monday 15th of August from 5pm onwards. The street will be closed to traffic. This could be a chance for reflection, or a time for socialising and catching up: No speeches, no agenda – this is whatever you, as a member of the local community, want to make it. Please contact jane@hackneyhomemade.com if you want to volunteer to help move tables and chairs or help in any way. Please bring cake!

Hackney Homemade Markets on Saturday and Sunday will be going ahead as usual. We will be fundraising for Siva, so please come along to show your support and have a cup of tea.