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.