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Photo Essays

Alvin Foo | The Occupied Space

24/03/2012. Right across the London Fire Brigade Headquarter, is the disused rear block Fire Station (on the right of the picture). The building has been disused since 2008 and is currently squatted by 24 squatters.
[A] phenomenon unique in this part of the world, I am often intrigued by how the squatters were portrayed on the mainstream media. Coming from a place where squatting is an almost non existent term, this body of work offers a fresh perspective on a squatting community. It focus on the relationship between a disused space and its occupiers and discover who these people really are and how they convert an otherwise derelict fire station into a habitable home for its 24 new residents.

29/03/2012. Having a game of bicycle hockey, 2 of the squatters make full use of the vast space available to them on the ground floor of the building.
23/03/2012. The station cafeteria is open to visitors and served free coffee & tea. The tables and benches are all hand made by its new residents using material found in the building.
29/03/2012. Warming up for the session, a fellow squatter from West London, getting ready for a kickboxing workshop held in the squatted station studio.
29/03/2012. An intimate moment between 2 of the residents along the hallway flanked by rooms now made habitable by the squatters.
23/03/2012. Showing me the way around the station, P. Malix, 28, from Poland, is one of the first person to occupy this building. “With the criminalization of squatting in residential property and not wanting create any nuisance to homeowners and neighbors, we decided to squat in disused industrial building instead,” he explained his intention in occupying this Fire Station.
27/03/2012. Curac Sorin, 38, from Romania, has one of the most beautifully decorated room in the station. All his furniture were collected from the dumpster. To make end meet, he picks scarp metal around London.
29/03/2012. Cinzia Falcetelli, 20, Italian, has been in UK for 5 months. She works as a flyer distributor. She loves the colorful design on the flyers and uses it to decorate her room.
29/03/2012. Nahira Miguel Biazziz, 19, from Spain, has been living in the UK for 7 months. She is here to learn English and is currently looking for a job in London.
24/03/2012. Attila Vriragh, 30, from Hungary, having a quiet moment with his guitar. He first encountered squatting in Amsterdam 5 years ago and has been squatting ever since. Unhappy with his country political system, he moved to London to seek a better life.
23/03/2012. Aggie, 21, from Poland, enjoying the Sun at the station rooftop with her fellow countrymen. She has been in the UK for only 3 month and is currently working in London.

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