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Simon Wheatly is a UK-based photographer whose latest exhibit ‘Don’t Call Me Urban’ captures the development of the underground street culture and rap scene ‘Grime’ from its infancy in the early 2000s.
Simon Wheatly began taking shots of the most impoverished UK housing developments in 2002 and quickly built a rapport with the residents of the “council estates,” (as they’re referred to locally) which allowed the photographer to snap powerful real-life shots of the youths as they lived their lives surrounded by drug use, government neglect, urban decay and death.
Some of the subjects of Simon Wheatly’s portraits have overcome their horrible surroundings to achieve some semblance of success, including rapper Dizzee Rascal and grime music collective Roll Deep.
Simon Wheatly’s ‘Don’t Call Me Urban’ is on display at the Rich Mix art gallery from June 3rd to June 24th 2011.