Documenting East London - The Exhibition


Exhibition from 7th March 2019 to 2019 March 2019.

In Espaço Cultural Mercês, Lisbon.

Documenting East London is a photography series that takes place on the east side of London. This series has been part of my daily life in London, to where I moved in 2013. Since then East London has been my base, my home, and one of the subjects I photographed the most in the past years.

Documenting East London started as a daily photography practice, commuting to University, to assignments, to parties, or any other destination. Initially what caught my attention in East London was its dramatic light, colors and its multiculturalism.

Throughout the years, and after thousands of photographs, Documenting East London became a long-term body of work. It became an assumed personal photography perspective about this partof the city. But also a visual series covering, indirectly, different and important layers of social and cultural phenomenons that are occurring in London nowadays.
One example is the impact of gentrification and how it has changed the social landscape of the city, as well as other cultural aspects related to it.

From the business and wealthy finance areas of Aldgate, Liverpool street, Tower Hill or Canary Wharf, to the diverse communities living in Whitechapel, Mile End, Bethnal Green, I have been documenting all these areas over the past five years. I have also documented Dalston, Shoreditch and Hackney, which have been changing a lot due to gentrification and rising rents, becoming trendy and expensive areas.
These areas used to be the home for a big part of the African, Muslim, Turkish and Jamaican communities living in London but a lot of these people have had to move to other areas in the city and only a few still manage to stay around East London.


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How can I help you? — The Exhibition


Exhibition from 21st September 2017 to 4th October 2017.

In Espaço Santa Catarina, Lisbon.

“How can I help you?” is a project about the faceless people behind the call centres.
Who are these people with whom we talk on a daily basis? How are their lives? 
This project was shot between February and June 2016 in India and in the Philippines. These two countries together employ more than 2 million people in this industry.
In exhibition there are also two other photo series shot at the same time in Mumbai and in Manila: “Commuting in Mumbai” and “No-where in Manila”. These series show a voyeurist side of José Sarmento Matos. 
“How can I help you?” was published at Newsweek Magazine, Wired, Suddeutsche Zeitung, The New York Times and Lens Blog NYT.


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José Sarmento Matos

José Sarmento Matos, is a Portuguese documentary photographer based in London and a Leica Ambassador.
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