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For the past five years Andrew Aitchison has been living and working amongst the Orthodox Jewish Community of Stamford Hill, London. This community is the biggest concentration of Chareidi Jews in Europe (approximately 25,000) and exists within an area of two square miles of North East London.
This set of images show an honest reflection of a community that is often perceived to live in a closed and insular world. Andrew’s work tackles the air of mystery surrounding this community and provides an insight into everyday life, rituals and celebrations.
This body of work began on the streets of Stamford Hill photographing the various holy days and festivals throughout the year. Andrew developed trusting relationships with members of the community and began to document all the customary rites of passage that come with growing up in the Orthodox world. He built up friendships with key figures which gave him access to exceptional circumstances that are not usually witnessed by ‘outsiders’ and not normally portrayed in the mass media.
Andrew Aitchison is an independent documentary photographer working on social, cultural and political issues as both commissioned & personal projects. He works in a reportage & portrait style using digital equipment and medium format film. His work covers a wide variety of events that can be seen on this site and has enabled him to travel throughout the UK, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He currently lives in London, UK.