4 MAY 1978

A young Bengali garment worker is found dead near Brick Lane;
yet another racially-motivated attack endured by the Asian population of East London. This time however, things are different. The brutal murder of Altab Ali mobilises a community. It is time to take action.

14 MAY 1978

7,000 Bengalis march from Brick Lane to Hyde Park then Downing Street behind Ali’s coffin, in an  unprecedented uprising against racist far-right groups. Their actions represent a turning point in resistance against racial discrimination. East London will change for good. 


This major new heritage project explores the May 1978 anti-racist uprising organised by the Bengali community around Brick Lane. 

With the help of volunteers and original activists, we’re creating a vital record of this watershed moment as told by local people.

This ambitious programme will produce:
– an archive of photographs and oral histories
– a short documentary film
– a touring exhibition
– a free public events programme
– a study pack for schools

Renowned photographer Paul Trevor captured the May 1978 protests.
His never-before-seen images offer a catalyst for identifying and gathering accounts from those involved at the time, and we need your help.


Brick Lane 1978: The Turning Point is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project  is a collaboration between Four Corners and Swadhinata Trust, in partnership with Paul Trevor.

All photographs © Paul Trevor 2019, unless otherwise stated.