Sam and Toni’s headline project Untranslation is a full of interesting depths. Each cultural flag design is inspired by the country it illustrates and a word selected for its unique untranslatable meaning. Each word was researched and spoken to native speaking Brixton market traders for confirmation and inspiration. The journey of discovering these words and selecting them was a project in itself. An eye opening and enriching journey for Sam to learn more about this diverse community in South London.

Sam documented his project by photographing some of the market traders he talked to, learning about their history in Brixton but also their wider heritage.

He shared some of the images and commentary in his own words for you to enjoy.

Eva (second from the left) and the rest of the gang have been so much fun to get to know. Despite Franco Manca becoming a nationwide chain you can walk into their Brixton restaurant and still feel like you’re in someone’s home.

Victor from Agile Rabbit. What a character. Have loved getting to know Victor. What I’ve noticed about Agile rabbit is that there is always someone interesting hanging around when Victor is there. He’s a magnet for interesting stuff! That’s reflected in the collage of music and events posters plastered across the front of the place and the vinyl dj sets that pop up outside every other night. We had a great chat about the music we love (he knows his music!)and his love for painting. As an artist himself he’s been really supportive of bringing this to Brixton Village

Etta from Etta’s Seafood. Etta is brixton through and through. She’s seen it all happen, places and people come and go. Probably the most infectious smile I’ve ever seen and such a welcoming vibe in her restaurant.
We’ve got on with Etta so much that we’ve organised a big dinner at the restaurant during BDT. We spoke about her Jamaican heritage and the changes in Brixton over the years. I told her we were struggling to find Jamaican Patois words for what we were doing and she quickly suggested calling her sister to get hold of a Patois dictionary!! She also gave me about about the history of Brixton and the Somerleyton estate. Really excited to hang our Jamaican design outside her place.
Jean – one of the staff at Champagne & Fromage. Great dude. Seemingly never without a cigarette behind the ear in true French style (which has bags of). I tried to capture some of that style here.

When we approached them about the project and the Italian words we were taking about Eva made sure everyone got involved and pitched in with ideas on the translation. This picture perfectly captures their brightness and spirit. Genuinely love these guys – a true heart of the market.

Kat at the Keep – great fun to talk to! She keeps a great blog too. Check it out.
Kate also wins points for prettiest shop in the village I think. She was really excited to know about all the different words we were using and even what flags were going where.

Team Senzala. Me and co-owner Claudia (centre) had a long talk about her Brazilian heritage and the inspiration behind Senzala’s menu. She said that the big mix of flavours in their Brazilian inspired crepes is to reflect the diverse cultural heritage of Brazil and its people.

We’ve also tried to nicely compliment the bright colour palette of their frontage on our Brazilian Portuguese flag.

Taken with:

35mm Kodak portrait 400 film & Nikon f501 Camera


They’ll be more portraits and commentary from Sam during the festival so follow him on social media to hear the language of Brixton.