Photographer Simon Wheatley has been mentoring a group of 10 up and coming photographers from Tower Hamlets for 8 weeks, between Feb and March this year. Come and see an exhibition of their work, exploring their perspectives on youth culture today.

This exhibition coincides with the launch of Simon Wheatley’s forthcoming publication, ‘Lost Dreams’ a book that chronicles and remembers the role that youth clubs played in the early evolution in Grime culture.

Meet the photographers: 

Yossef Benattou: I’m 24 years old and I’ve been living in Tower Hamlets my whole life. A passion of mine is skateboarding and I’ve been doing it since I was 14. I’ve only ever skated at Mile End Skatepark. I refuse to skate anywhere else. This space represents my personal experience of youth culture in Tower Hamlets and I will always be grateful for the memories I’ve shared with my friends there.

Sunya Akhtar: I am 17 years old and was born in London. I am currently a student at Access Creative College. I have been interested in photography since i was 11. My photography right now is more landscape and portrait but I am also interested in wedding photography because I like the idea of capturing beautiful memories. Since then I have gradually built my photography skills from a phone to a camera. I have some experience in using the Adobe Suite for editing. I also have somewhat experience in video editing and producing.

Sabab: I’m 23, and I like telling stories that reflect human experiences, at the moment particularly of people of similar backgrounds to me. I like to display people or experiences that aren’t used to being depicted as the focal point, a change from being the side story. I think it gives humanity to people who are misunderstood. I want them to receive a second look, to be seen in a different light to what’s already presumed. In the hope that if people see more of themselves in the outsiders, they can be humanised rather than being seen as a ‘other’. And for those people to find solace in the work, knowing there’s people like them.

Ceylon: I’m 22 and I live in Tower Hamlets, East London. My day job consists of working for a criminal defence law firm, but when I’m not doing this, my time is filled up with my other passion – photography. In particular, I love black and white film. I tend to take pictures of anything my eye is drawn to whilst out on long walks alone or out with friends. Taking architectural style photos has always come naturally to me, components such as light, shadow, shape, lines, and interesting compositions always make an amazing photo for me.’

David Adesanya: Young East Londoner David is an athlete and freelance multidisciplinary creator specialising in advocacy through design. This has taken him across the globe, from representing GB in building strategies to meet the UN’s Global Goal 16, to developing creative cultural bridges and community resolutions between the East and West in Beijing and Pakistan. He draws from these works but also brings along the stories of cultures so far removed providing an uncanny perspective to reality and hopefully a truth unrecognised.

Parveen Narowalia: is a Freelance Creative based in East London. A self-taught photographer and artist, she has worked across different disciplines of photography throughout her career. After working as an in-house photographer at British Vogue, Parveen has taken a step back and is now pursuing her passion in capturing friends, acquaintances and strangers that she comes across in life.

Ric Flo Diaghe: is a Motion Graphic Designer, Rapper and a bit of a renaissance man at heart! His fascination for photography came when he discovered ‘drawing with light’. His curiosity led him to experiment with different light-emitting objects from phones to torches, light sabres to fibre optic brushes. Since then, he has done live demonstrations at events such as Supa Dupa Fly, Le Scratch, Why Not Network and Music & Sound Awards. He has also facilitated photography workshops with Tower Hamlets to inspire looked-after children as he grew up in foster care too. Ric is passionate to explore his unique take to photography and see how far he can push it.

Sadia Aziza: I am a 20 year old studying BA Media and English at Goldsmiths. Growing up an only child, I took photographs from the perspective of my toys to feel like I was living in their world. Looks like I’m still doing that? I love to weave narrative into my still images, so I want to continue experimenting with the medium to see how I can create more visceral storyscapes.

Emily-Jayne Nolan, 28.”An empathetic Photographer, focusing on portraiture and storytelling”
My shooting style is very fly-on-the-wall. I find with this approach, and the way I am as a person, makes people feel comfortable around me and this comes out through my photography. I enjoy documenting everyday moments, making them not so everyday. Community is a big theme throughout my work and I like to highlight people that dedicate themselves to giving back to those around them.

Find out about how we’re keeping you safe in our building.

If you have any access requirements, please contact our box office team on 020 7613 7498 or email