Descendants of All Worlds

The Hopscotch Photoeditors

At the centre of the ‘Descendants of All Worlds’ is a group of women drawn from the Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre in Camden, London, whose role is to act as the picture editors for the project. This organisation reaches women, largely from the Bangladeshi community resident in this part of the capital. All these women are learning English at Hopscotch and most have young families. Many of their husbands work in the food business.

 So the involvement in this project has been a step in a totally new direction and one which they have taken on with enthusiasm and excitement. When we first introduced the idea earlier this year to this group, we were a little concerned that perhaps we had gone too far this time in trying to break new ground. As it turned out, our worries were totally misplaced. Their first task – to arrange pictures for the exhibition going on Whitechapel Station to tell a story – was carried out with imagination and under considerable pressure. The next task was to arrange the exhibition for the launch at the London Muslim Centre in July. This was also carried out with enthusiasm and at speed to ensure we were ready for the opening by Commissioner Peter Hendy, head of Transport For London.                      

What the women clearly demonstrated was something we have known all along, that pictures cross all national and cultural boundaries and you don’t have to speak English to be a part of this project. It certainly helps, but it is not a prerequisite.

These women are very proud to know that they are now at the centre of the DOAW project in London. We hope their involvement will provide an inspiration to all those of you involved with DOAW in different parts of the country and you may have similar groups who would like to become involved in a similar capacity.

So what we will be doing over the course of this year is showing you how pictures can be put together to tell a story. These are photodocumentaries that you will all receive as part of your project so you will be able to follow the process all the way through.

To start the project, you will all be receiving two photodocumentaries – Faces of Kabul and Chandra’s London - to give you an introduction to picture editing. We will be giving you the same exercises that the Hopscotch photoeditors will be working with and you can see what they came up with along the way and decide whether you agree or disagree with what they did. The Hopscotch picture editors are presenting each story from their own perspective as Muslim Asian women, you may find you have a totally different presentation to reflect who you are and your own experiences.