Development and regeneration in Barking and Dagenham

Exhibition showcases estate history

By Marco Cillario - Thu 7 July 2016, 5:53 pm

A new photography exhibition in Barking explores the history of the Becontree housing estate.

The exposition, named Banjo and hosted at the Broadway Theatre, documents life at Becontree, which was built in the interwar period as the largest public housing estate in the world. Opened in 1935, it hosted around 100,000 people in 26,000 homes.

The works, by photography foundation degree students from Barking and Dagenham College, will be on display from 10am to 5pm until Thursday 14 July 2016.

Photography course leader David Bennett said the exhibition aimed to raise awareness on the history of the estate.

“Two of my students live on the estate, but don’t realise they live there at all - it’s just a house on a street to them,” he explained. “There’s a lot of history behind it, but people just drive through.

“It’s quite easy to put negative connotations onto the estate, but this exhibition doesn’t. It’s more about how the area has changed and what’s come into the area.”

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