This is the start of an ongoing photographic project to document how I see the contrasting people of Leeds.
On the one side I see the modern “new” people of Leeds, the type of people that go shopping in Briggate at Harvey Nichols, The Vicoria Quarter, and other such shops that have helped Leeds earn the tag “The Knightsbridge Of The North”.
On the other side are the “original” people of Leeds, the type that shop in Kirkgate Markets and the surrounding area, and perhaps the Merrion Centre. They ae the type of people who have shopped in theses locations for decades. The characters that I remember seeing when my parents used to take me shopping into the markets as a kid.
Why am I bothering to document this? Well, I see the old characters of Leeds being squeezed out of the city by the “new” people, by progress, re-development and change. Many of the areas in the city centre are now the sole domain of those with money to spend. The re-development of Briggate, The Light and the current works at Trinity Leeds are pushing those “original” folks of Leeds further and further away from what Leeds has become. The current re-development plans for Eastgate and the new plans put forward by Leeds City Council for the re-development of Kirkgate Markets into a “foodie destination for the wealthy” will in all likleyhood push the poorer people of Leeds out from the city centre completley. Leeds City Councillor Mark Dobson recently made the following remark which highlights the point:
“The question has to be asked whether Kirkgate Market is actually the best place for people on low incomes to shop. Would low income families be better served through the discount and value sector?”
The images below are the start of my project to highlight the 2 sides of Leeds, many more images will be added over the following months, and some will change as more images are taken.