A rare glimpse inside a close-knit community of travellers living under the A40 flyover in London
The Westway is, for most of us, a mundane slab of tarmac, merely a facilitator to get to another destination, connecting London to south England's motorways. But for a group of travellers, it's the roof that they call home.
Photographer Paul Wenham-Clarke spent many months gaining the trust of the community’s leaders for unrivalled access to this otherwise closed world. His resulting portraits are intimate, arresting, and at times flamboyant.
Part of a unique culture so often stigmatised in the media, the travellers are under increasing pressure to move on. These images, woven together with the photographer’s written story, document a close-knit community as they fight to save their cultural identity.
Now available in a new book, Urban Gypsies, the introduction by Rachel Segal Hamilton reads: "These pictures show us that Traveller life is fundamentally about community. On site, inside and outside blur, caravan doors swing open, kids play and leap, not a screen in sight. Freedom isn’t just the freedom to escape – it’s also the freedom to be together."
Urban Gypsies by Paul Wenham-Clarke is published by Hoxton Mini Press, £17.95. Available from www.hoxtonminipress.com.