More from Oscar Nearly
The Death of “Snakehips” Johnson
On March 8th, 1941, the Café de Paris – ‘the safest and gayest restaurant in town’ – was destroyed in the Blitz. Among the dead was one of the most important figures in Black British jazz: Ken “Snakehips” Johnson.
This viewpoint includes extracts from ‘Snakehips Swing’ by Ken “Snakehips” Johnson and his West Indian Dance Orchestra, available on ‘Black British Swing: The African Diaspora’s Contribution To England’s Own Jazz of the 1930s and 1940s’.
[CW: war; death]
The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs
Walk back in time with prehistoric monsters, and discover how these Victorian sculptures were designed – a history which includes a cruel professional rivalry and a decadent dinner in a dinosaur’s stomach. [CW: suicide]
First-Class Tickets for the Dead
Take your final trip on the London Necropolis Railway, which transported coffins and mourners from the city to Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey. Make sure to get a first-class ticket so that your body doesn’t mix with those of a lower sort.
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‘A Couple Hold Hands in the Street’ by Stik and ‘The Crane’ by ROA, Brick Lane Street Art, London
Brick Lane, in the heart of the East End of London, is often considered one of the most famous locations in the UK for graffiti and street art. Whilst international street artists aspire to paint on Brick Lane, it is kept fresh by local artists who change the graffiti on a weekly basis. Works can be found by famous street artists from around the world, including Phlegm, Ben Eine, Banksy, Noriaki, C215, ROA, Vhils and Shepard Fairey, to name just a few. One of the most popular works of street art in the area is that of ‘A Couple Hold Hands in the Street’ on Princelet Street by local artist Stik. The piece, created in 2010, shows a woman in a niqab holding hands with a second stick figure and was voted the nation’s 17th favourite artwork in a poll in 2017. One of the other long-standing pieces in the area is The Crane on Hanbury street which was created by Belgian street artist, ROA. The work was originally intended to be a heron but was changed to a crane after ROA learnt that they were sacred to the Bengali community, who make up a significant portion of the local population.