Photographer, Writer

The identity of London

Nine years ago I had a school trip to London. It was a big deal. We’re all teenagers and it was the first time we traveled without our parents supervision. It was a lot of fun! I loved being a tourist in London. The photos on this post are circa 2006 which I took with my first digital camera (from LIDL!). I was so fascinated by the city, I couldn’t get enough of it. I promised myself that one day I would try to make a living here… I just thought “Why not?!”

Fast forward to the present: here I am trying to make it on my own in a city that has become the European capital of (em/im)migrants (any type of migrant passes through here). That’s something unique that I couldn’t quite understand so many years ago. Basically there are many studies showing that most of Londoners are second-generation immigrants. Also this phenomenon occurs in other major cities in the U.K. because of colonization’s influence on modern-day migratory patterns.

So, now I understand why John Cleese keeps saying on interviews things like “London is no longer an English city”. I totally agree. I’m fascinated with this blending of wonderful cultures mixed together in one urban universe full of different contrasts, traditions and living patterns. Different humans, better city. It’s a multinational feeling. We’re all here, migrants who believe in a better future in a big metropolitan jungle called London.

The city pace can be harsh. It’s something that cannot been explained. Like the weather which seems too naughty to be truth. London keeps you grounded, swallows you over and spits you out on the streets. It’s a excellent training ground for other major cities around the world (which I plan to visit in the future). Living here reminds me of that “fight club” feeling… remember Edward Norton’s character? He gets punched so many times but he keeps going back to the fight club. That’s the challenge of living in London. It tests your limits and if you can survive here, you can do it all over again somewhere else. On the other side, if you find an opportunity, take it with no regrets. Stick to your goals and determination, those are the keys to succeed; and remember always: Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean you have to give up immediately.