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Brick Lane 1978 Project Launch

By 8th August 2019August 15th, 2019Current Events


Brick Lane 1978 Project Launch Friday 4th October, 5.00-8pm at Four Corners click link for details

04 MAY 1978
A young Bangladeshi garment worker is found dead near Brick Lane; yet another  racially-motivated attack endured by the Asian population of East London. This time however, things are different. The brutal murder of Altab Ali mobilises a community. It is time to take action.

14 MAY 1978
7,000 Bengalis march from Brick Lane to Downing Street behind Ali’s coffin, in an  unprecedented uprising against racist far-right groups. Their actions represent a turning point in resistance against racial discrimination. East London will change for good.


BRICK LANE 1978: THE TURNING POINT is a major new heritage project exploring the May 1978 anti-racist uprising organised by the Bengali community around Brick Lane.

With the help of local volunteers and original activists, Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point investigates how and why this watershed moment unfolded.

Renowned documentary photographer Paul Trevor captured the protests. His iconic images offer a powerful catalyst for identifying and gathering accounts from those involved at the time.

The aim is to create a vital record of May 1978 as told by local people.

An extensive collection of oral history interviews will be made publicly accessible alongside Paul Trevor’s never-before-seen photographs.

The project will also produce a short documentary film, touring exhibition, public events programme and school’s study pack.




We need talented volunteers to bring this project to life. Gain skills, get inspired and shed light on this historic moment.

October 2019 – May 2020

Reseach: Use Paul Trevor’s iconic photographs to identify and contact activists involved in the May 1978 demonstrations.

Interview: Get trained up in oral history techniques and interview the people that made the demonstrations happen.

February 2020 – July 2020

Film: Help to produce a short documentary film about the events that led to May 1978.

Interested? Get in touch. 


Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point is a collaborative project run by Four Corners and Swadhinata Trust, in partnership with Paul Trevor.

This project has been made possible by the generous support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Volunteers welcome, please get in touch with to state your interest.

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