RRB Photobooks is pleased to present Crocus Valley by Ameena Rojee as our second Platform title. Platform is a new publishing project supporting emerging voices in British Documentary Photography. The project draws on the photographic legacy of RRB's existing catalogue to take part in writing the documentary tradition of the future.
In Crocus Valley Rojee aims to show another side of Croydon, something softer that coexists with the hard truths of living there. The narrative in the book champions the natural world – the wilder side of Croydon – coexisting alongside the built environment.
Throughout this work, Rojee reveals the unexpected natural beauty and magic hidden within Croydon, despite the challenges and serious issues this borough faces.
This story is something of a love letter to Croydon, my hometown. I was born in the neighbouring town’s hospital, grew up here, and still live here on the border between boroughs. This series is a purposefully unexpected glimpse and romantic take on this cultural and generational patchwork quilt of a place that’s supposedly empty of such a thing. Scenes that are rarely, if ever, depicted in the media or spoken about.
Being on this particular edge of the UK’s capital has its advantages, whether it’s hopping on the tram into Croydon’s much wilder lands or tracing the remains of the ancient Great North Wood – evidence of which still exists throughout the borough and in south London more generally.
The abundant nature and the not-so-hidden beauty doesn’t mean the very serious issues the town faces don’t exist; however, like they do in all London boroughs, these extremes exist side-by-side. This is simply another side to Croydon’s truth.