Invisible Angels was made on the Heygate Estate in 2009 after the majority of residents were evicted or relocated. The site was subject to controversy for various reasons including the high levels of poverty and the future plans for the site, which presented a conflict of interest for the council. 

The four young men in Invisible Angels are aged between seventeen and twenty. They wear domestic temporary materials including bin liners, tin foil, cling film, news paper and shopping bags. Although wearing strange clothes, and standing in a decaying environment, the men present themselves as confident and dignified, without aggression or threat. In each performative photo the young men stand in groups, pairs or alone. They stare at the camera or far into the distance. Sometimes the artificial nature of their arrangement suggests that they are a product (fashion-shoot, boy-band, fiction, myth, construct). Running concurrently with the Heygate demolition plans, UK media were increasingly portraying young groups of black men standing on urban streets as threatening gangs. The clear undertones of racist stereotyping revealed ongoing problems within UK society and media, rather than presenting the reality for any individual young man targeted. 

The architecture has the typical towering, vast, concrete and grey features associated with estates. Shot in many different corners and roads within the complex, the maze of this residential land is also explored. The spaces are empty except for two occasions when a family pushes a pram in the far distance or when 2 policemen look at the young men wearing blue bin liners. 

This project was made possible thanks to the generous collaboration of all four models/performers, stylist Debbie Spink and assistant Tyrone Grosvenor. 

Fuji 5x4.5 & Hasselblad X-Pan using Kodak VC 120/35 film, C-Type Matt prints, 65 x 30" & 45 x 36". 

(To see all images in the series please contact K. Yoland)
Invisible Angels featured in "The Quito Papers & The New Urban Agenda", 2018
Published by The United Nations and Routledge Press. "The future is urban. Indeed, the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities. Not a moment too soon, then, that urbanization is suddenly at the centre of global policy making. In 2015 the governments of the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in 2016 they adopted the New Urban Agenda. However, the question of how these Agendas will be pursued concretely remains. Unfortunately, the prevailing model is rigidly technocratic Charter of Athens from 1933—the strict functionalist separation of activities that it prescribes still dominates planning practices worldwide. The purpose of The Quito Papers and the New Urban Agenda is to start a discussion that both challenges this status quo and opens up new lines of enquiry. It intentionally does not propose a manifesto made up of simplistic slogans and recommendations as cities in the 21st century are more fragile and complex. Its content, therefore, is intentionally broad, ranging from architecture, planning and urban design, to land ownership and regulation, water management and environmental philosophy. This multifaceted assembly of perspectives critiques the tenets of the Charter of Athens, identify new trends and propose new insights on contemporary urbanization. Part One outlines the overall challenges facing cities in the 21st century and Part Two offers a number of conceptual frameworks and approaches for dealing with those challenges. Each Part is also composed of a body of illustrated arguments, synthesized from selectively-abridged background papers from over 15 commissioned authors, interspersed with in-depth papers."
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