Murder #9 , Igor Vinogradov, Forest Gate

MurderProject__009

Murder #9 , Igor Vinogradov, Forest Gate

Igor Vinogradov, 37, a Russian national, was found dead at a squat in Forest Gate, east London, on January 31, 2011. Police were called to the address at 112 Capel Road at 1pm and he was pronounced dead at the scene. A postmortem later revealed he had suffered severe blunt trauma injuries to the head. Mr Vinogradov was kicked, punched and stamped to death as he slept at the squat by Paulius Korsakas, a 27 year-old Lithuanian, in a drunken fury, believing he had been humiliated or slighted during a row.

I knew when I started this project I would go to places very unfamiliar to me. What I didn’t expect for it to take me places very close to my heart. Forest Gate is where some of my closest friends live. The house where Igor Vinogradov died was just around the corner from my friends. I must have walked by the house where he died over a dozen times. The house faces Wanstead Flats on Capel Road and all the houses on that stretch of the road are very nice. I don’t think I ever noticed an abandoned house on my walks or anyone squatting in one. So I was quite surprised when I showed up to photograph the murder site to be in such a familiar place. How did I never notice the dilapidated house? I had thought many times it would be a nice road to live on facing the Flats. Even the house next door was a modernist house that you would bet was the kind that an architect lived in.

A lone policeman sitting in his patrol car guarded the scene while forensic detectives worked inside. He seemed bored out if his mind and seemed happy to break it to ask me a dozen questions about what I was doing. Soon I think he was bored with me and let me get on with my work.

One of the themes I have pursued in this project is how we don’t really grasp the landscape around us. We are all guilty of it as individuals and as a society.  Everywhere in London there are clues to the inequality that still plagues the city. I have been confronted by this many times over my project. Places I thought I knew very well and suddenly I see it in a new light.  In the course over the project I am always surprised by hostels I never noticed or the poor quality housing amidst wealthy expensive neighbourhoods. I have become aware of a London I never knew existed or more likely, I chose to ignore, pay little attention to or never visit.

A selection of ‘The Landscape of Murder‘ Photographs on www.antonioolmos.com

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