For former soldier Ernie Taylor, the Hackney riots brought back the senseless violence and trauma of Northern Ireland, triggering memories of horrors almost four decades old.
In an attempt to record and deal with the extreme emotions that last year’s criminal uprising generated, he went out on to the streets near his east London home to record the wreckage the following morning, 9 August 2011.And…what did he find?
He recalled an eerie quiet around his home in Hackney last year before the riots erupted. “I went out in my mobility scooter towards the centre.
I saw a photographer with a broken nose and another with a black eye who complained they had stolen his cameras.
It just took me back to Belfast, bricks all over the place, glass all over the place, things burning.”So is he planning to blame the government, the police, the lack of youth clubs in the area?
The following morning he re-emerged to take these photographs, a hobby he has used for years to keep his emotions under control:
“I was up before 6am. I needed to record it. It was gross stupidity, there was no reason for it whatsoever. It made me extremely angry. What is the point of destroying something instead of using it? These were adults behaving like children having a tantrum.”Ah. How refreshing.
And how unsurprising, that someone who has seen real violence, real conflict, can see the London Riots for what they were...