I found it surreal to be out during the day in areas of London which were fairly unaffected, but to be watching the devastating effects of the violence and looting on the news at night. Even my local shops in south east London were closing early and locking down in order to protect themselves. A handful of shops were even targeted in my local area, and the violence in Croydon hit very close to home.
While much of the violence hurts the very fabric of local communities, the boarded up and burnt buildings – both residential and commercial - are a physical reminder of the trauma that happened in the riots.
In the aftermath, I did wander around my local area as well as Clapham to see the damage for myself. The initial clean-up had obviously taken place, and the police were more visible on the street.
However, I found it interested to see how the boarded up windows had become a vehicle for the communities to communicate – whether to say that businesses were still open for business ...