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SOHO covers just one square mile but it certainly packs a punch.


Soho is fundamentally neoteric and has remained at the cutting edge for centuries. It has also had the lion's share of Great Britain's creativity and notoriety particularly through the 1950s and 1960s.


Writer Dick Hebdige said of Soho "It was as if the whole submerged criminal underworld had surfaced, in 1965, in the middle of London, and had brought with it its own submarine world or popular fiction, sex and volence fantasy. As it acquired power it explored the possibility of realising those fantasies - the results were often bizarre and frequently terrifying".  


This research forms part of The Photographers' Gallery exhibition  'SHOT IN SOHO'   -  jointly developed with Karen McQuaid.  The exhibition and the SHOT IN SOHO book  (Prestel) reflect on Soho's social fabric, history and subcutures - through the eyes of photographers, who have worked on its streets and behind the scenes from 1890 to the present day.  

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Sex workers  Soho, London (Credit Mirrorpix Archive).

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Infamous stabbing in a Frith Street  greengrocers, in broad daylight, invoving Jack the "Spot'" Comer and Albert Dimes (known locally as "Italian Al"), August 1955.  Spot described his own blade technique as "striping" - running down the cheek in a vertical motion - to avoid arteries - as that could lead to a murder charge.  


Soho research, City of Westminster Archive Centre.

Shot in Soho for website

At the private view for SHOT IN SOHO, 17 October 2019.

Photograph: Heather Shuker and courtesy of The Photographers' Gallery. CCoothe private view of Shot in Soho, October 17 2019.

Credit: MirrorPix.