It is hard to believe now, as craft breweries and artisan pizzerias proliferate, that the section of East London that stretches from Shoreditch in the south to Clapton in the north was once affectionately known as the Socialist Republic of Hackney. The revolutionaries and the squatters have now largely gone, artists and musicians have pushed out to Hackney Wick, and young professionals are colonising every corner, cycling in swarms down Broadway Market or Chatsworth Road. Hotel are erecting in clusters around Shoreditch and the booming bar scene has blanketed Dalston and Hackney Central.
Next Level Projects is a London-based, not-for-profit research and curatorial platform with an aim and mission to explore and debate perspectives on contemporary art practices and photographic-related media as contemporary art, within the context of contemporary art; to bring to the fore awareness and discourse on contemporary art issues and cultures from a photographic material perspective —understanding its dialogues within, and it as a part of, the transdisciplinary world of contemporary art. Next Level was founded in 2002 by curator Sheyi Bankale and has gone on to become one of Europe’s leading contemporary art publications with a dynamic mix of photography and moving image as contemporary art, progressive ideas and critical writing. By examining contemporary art through media that is itself contemporary, and is frequently employed in contemporary practice, it is Next
Level’s quest to celebrate the excellence and diversity of contemporary photography as a contemporary art form, to support established and emerging artists and writers, and to engage new audiences.