Hannah Lili Boettcher
The University of Western Australia
Hannah Lili Boettcher was awarded the Iain Brash Prize for her essay 'London’s (Migrant) Villages within the Metropolis'.
My article London's (Migrant) Villages within the Metropolis deals with two books by Rachel Lichtenstein, On Brick Lane (2007) and Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden (2012). The author explores, in her unique psychogeographical manner, how the close-knit Jewish communities lived and worked in village-like enclaves that existed along these two roads, but which have largely vanished.
It is the exclusivity of London’s diamond district around Hatton Garden, as well as the seclusion of the former 'Little Jerusalem' at the turn of the last century on Brick Lane, that makes the boundaries of difference visible, and contrast these two areas with the rest of London. The question between the inside and the outside of a community will be raised on the basis of resolving this dichotomy as it is argued that the definition who is inside or outside is completely dependent on the point of view.
Please note that the Iain Brash Prize was increased to $200 this year thanks to a one-off, private donation made by Phillipa Maddern to the Limina Editorial Collective.