Capturing the Stories and Faces of Easton’s Multicultural Community

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Alan

In Easton, 5 years, 6 years.

I’m Kurdish, from Iran.

I’m a car washer, and I work in a kebab shop.

It’s a nice place, it’s alright, a mix of people.

Why do you think that is, that there are so many different cultures living here?

I didn’t know about it really before moving here. This area is cheap, everything is cheap so there’s more people, you know.

If you go outside Bristol you can’t buy for me, you can’t find our food. Like African food, Jamaican food, you know...It’s different, but, here, you can find everything wherever you want.

Why do you think there’s a lot of crime here?

In Easton? Well, I haven’t seen any, I don’t know. I don’t care about this. I live my life, so I don’t care about this. I haven’t been in a police station all my life.


Anna

I’ve lived on Kingston Road for 28 years. My son is called Joseph William Kingston because he was born in that house. No.10, same as the Prime Minister.

I love Easton, I love it, I’m just going for a walk up the cycle path actually.


Jaswant

(Jaswant's nephew translates) She’s 88 years old, she used to run that shop across the road by herself. Her husband passed away when her kids were little. That’s her father's house.

What do you think of Easton?

Jaswant: I think it’s very nice.

(Jaswant's nephew translates) She's lived here all her life.

Jaswant: Long time I live here, I know nothing else, I’m
happy now here.

Can you describe the best time of your life living here?

(Jaswant's nephew translates) Hmm... she’s actually had a really hard life, because she brought up her kids by herself with her parents help. Yeah, she’s alright now, her kids are grown up, they’re all settled down. She’s there in the upstairs flat and her kids come to look after her.

Jaswant: The sun come out, I come out.


Leon

I’ve been living here all my life, it’s a very diverse place. Black, White, Asian, Somalian, Polish, Kurdish. You know? Everything’s here.

When they talk about the crime in Easton, it’s rubbish really, there’s trouble everywhere.

People ain’t given enough opportunities, there’s not enough opportunities, like, you’ve got a lot of people in such a small area and the majority of them haven’t got no opportunities. When everybody wants something and if you can’t get it, they’re gonna go and get it one way or another. Yeah, that’s it.

I’ve grew up in Easton, Easton’s Easton to me, I’ve never seen Easton as a dangerous place, I’ve always seen it as home. Like, I’ve had no trouble in Easton. I’ve always had trouble out of Easton. But Easton is home, it’s somewhere I feel comfortable.


Maria

I’ve lived in Easton since ‘88.

Why Easton over everywhere else in Bristol?

Because it’s got Jamaican heritage, and I know there’s a Jamaican community here. My parents came from Jamaica so I’m what you call second generation post war migrant. Our parents had it really rough, but we had it quite challenging as children. This improved as we accessed opportunities with education and work.

We’ve got new migrants and we’ve got new families. It’s funny because I notice it more, which I don’t think is a bad thing I think it’s good to have a good cross section of people, rather than all low income, all struggling, do you know what I mean?

What was the most satisfying stage in your life?

You really want to know? Finding faith, being born again. Born again Christian, that happened quite recent, not a long time ago. 2011, it changed my life completely.


Mark

I work on a building site, I’ve lived in Easton for nearly ten years. I’m originally from Poland.

I don’t see many dodgy people around anymore. I heard that it used to be difficult to walk down the streets by yourself at night time. It’s all stereotypes, seriously, it’s a really friendly and nice district.

It’s a multiculti mix of everybody all over the world. And everybody’s trying to co-operate and live together. As you can see everybody’s doing something and trying to survive. But it’s a really peaceful atmosphere here. I can’t say anything wrong about this place, it’s a really nice district.


Ninjah

Portland, Jamaica I come from, East Jamaica. I come from the country in Jamaica you know, I’m used to country life and ting like that so, it’s a good balance for me.

I been in the community for about 35 years. I love it, I can’t complain. I’m a culture man, you know? I’m a culture Rasta man, and I’m real roots.

Queen Elizabeth is one of mine. As a Rasta man, me can’t tell a lot of people that.

How would you describe your style?

Sista, I am roots and culture and I will never change. And even if you see me in suit and tie, it have to look original, you know? I’m a soldier in God’s army. So I express myself culturally because I’m also a musician. I sing culture songs.

That’s right, I’m Ninjah. you know what that mean, Ninjah mean the essence of God. You have the Japanese ninja, is a dangerous ninja, sword fighter. I am Ninj-ah! Ninj-ah! A eye of force, you know, a eye of power. So you can’t mistake it because any man can kill, any man is hard. I’m not a bad man, I defend my principle, and I was grown with manners and discipline.


Rachel

I’m from London, I’ve lived here for 19 years.

Because I’m from London, I struggle when I’m just around English, I like to be around different cultures.

I’m disabled, I’m almost house-bound. I don’t get out very often. I used to be a clothes designer, but I don’t talk about that as it was a different life. My chickens are the only way I keep my mental health.

Easton is very friendly, there’s a good community here, safe, I feel very safe here. Because there’s manners on the streets, if something happened I feel someone would step up for me. You know? You don’t get that in all areas.

I’m used to London so, I’m from Camden Town, and I’m sure it’s not worse than Camden.

See more from Jones on her Website.