Murder #13, Daniel Graham, East Dulwich


Murder #13, Daniel Graham, East Dulwich

Daniel Graham, 18, was stabbed 24 times during an assault in Grove Vale, East Dulwich, South East London, just after midnight on January 29 2011. The assault happened in front of passengers on bus 176 which he boarded and then left after fleeing a fight at a birthday party. He had been followed by up to six youths who repeatedly kicked, punched and stabbed him on the pavement as bus passengers watched. Daniel Graham was taken to hospital but died a couple of hours later. 3 members of the GMG (Guns, Murders and Girls) gang, an offshoot of the Peckham Boys – were arrested and found guilty of murder.

A man came up to me as I started taking photos. “How much does a guy like you make to make photos of dead black boys ?” My first answer was “Not that much really” and then I tried to engage him in conversation hoping to explain to him what I was trying to do. He was having none of it. “The only time I ever see the media is when something bad happens to us, you make me sick! ” I tried to tell him about my project, the kind of work that I do and the last thing I want to be is exploitative. The man had been in the corner shop behind me and said ” You are standing on the spot where he died and your camera is pointing the wrong way”. He got into his car and continued to berate me for what I was doing. He drove way shaking his head in disgust. Soon after another man came up to me asking when the photo was going to be published. “I dont know” I said and again tried to explain what I was doing, but he too seemed disgusted about what I was doing and walked away. It was early days for my project and I was still trying to to figure out how to express to what I was doing to myself let alone other people. Yes I knew from the very beginning I wanted to have these encounters, these very conversations I was having in East Dulwich.  At the time I only intended to photograph for a year and my hope was that by using a tripod for every photo I would make my self visible. Photographers who work in the streets dont want to be noticed and it was counter intuitive for me to make myself visible. A few other people talked to me that rainy afternoon in East Dulwich but the last one said to me “You are late, the police have been here and gone” I said I knew and didn’t bother to explain why. I packed up and walked across the street to board a train back to London Bridge.

An interactive map showing the places I photographed and written about in this blog

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