Over two years have passed since the Grenfell Tower tragedy took place, but the fight for justice continues. Many are still displaced, liable bodies are still evading consequences, and health and safety standards are still being carelessly flouted across the country. A recent government report shows that there remain 338 buildings wrapped in the same kind of cladding as that found at Grenfell Tower.
Following his high profile film featuring Stormzy and Adele that came at the end of last year, photographer Tom Cockram is commemorating the second anniversary of the Grenfell fire with an exhibition focusing on the survivors, the bereaved and the community that remains.
Cockram has been working on the project over the past year, photographing intimate, monochrome portraits of those most closely affected by the tragedy and the subsequent fallout. Alongside the exhibition, there will also be a handful of talks and events, including photography workshops for the Grenfell community and a screening of revelatory film Failed By The State, which features members of the local area detailing their experience of gentrification and the role the authorities play.
The exhibition, Never Forget Grenfell, is a collaborative effort between Cockram and Grenfell United, a group of survivors and bereaved families from the Grenfell Tower. The group’s Vice-Chair, Karim Mussilhy, said: “Grenfell was filled with amazing people, a true community with people from all walks of life who looked out for each other. Since the fire that community has grown stronger as bereaved, survivors and neighbours near and far have come together to support each other. We hope this exhibition will show Londoners that our community is strong, dignified and united.”
“Two years on from the fire we are still fighting for justice and change. We cannot allow what happened at Grenfell to be forgotten. We hope Londoners will come and see our pictures, learn our story and support us in our campaigns,” he added.
Grenfell United is also behind the guerrilla project that saw startling messages beamed onto housing blocks in London, Manchester and Newcastle in the run up to the two year anniversary. The statements call out the continued lack of improvements to the most basic of fire prevention measures and equipment like safe cladding, fire doors and sprinklers, despite promises made following the Grenfell Tower fire.
Never Forget Grenfell is open from June 20 – 23 at Shop 8, Dray Walk, Truman Brewery, London; grenfellunited.org.uk