Snapped 1990 | 2020 (2021)

White Horse Road
1 Feb - 31 Mar 2020
A montage of Snapped 1990 images

Now on permanent display in the Half Moon Garden


Half Moon’s young people took part in a photography project to explore the changes in the landscape of Tower Hamlets over 30 years. The result is Snapped 1990 | 2020, an exhibition of photographs taken in 1990 alongside images taken at the same locations, 30 years later, in 2020. But, as it turned out, the exhibition became much more than that.

During February 2020, a series of research sessions took place at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives to identify photographs taken in 1990 by local residents and professional photographers that would reveal the area’s transformation. What had changed in the local area since the young people’s company was established in 1990 and what had stayed the same?

In March 2020, the first COVID-19 lockdown was looming and the on-location photo shoots around the borough had to happen quickly, or we would be forced to abandon the project altogether.

Some of our final activities, before the lockdown was officially announced, were sessions where young people accompanied Emma Brown, the photographer who had taught them about camera technique and composition, to the now deserted streets of Tower Hamlets. What had been intended as a celebration of the evolution of a cosmopolitan, thriving borough was now a poignant reminder of how precious life is, capturing a very particular moment in the history of the world, where once busy streets were suddenly empty.

The Snapped 1990 | 2020 exhibition will be displayed in Half Moon Theatre’s foyer gallery space from 22 April-18 December 2021. In the summer of 2022 it went on permanent display in the Half Moon Garden.

Snapped 1990 | 2020 was part of Half Moon’s 1990 | 2020 project, celebrating 30 years as a young people’s theatre. The other activities were: Born 1990 and Happened 1990.

Snapped 1990 | 2020 was supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Heritage Fund logo

Snapped 1990 | 2020 photographs

Cast List

  • Eclipse Youth Theatre
  • Equinox Youth Theatre
  • Lunar Youth Theatre
  • Orbit Youth Theatre
  • Solar Youth Theatre

Creative Team

  • Emma Brown Photographer
  • Sarah Ainslie, Clara Ely, Paul Moncrief, Leon Rogers, Bradley Snooks, Malcom Tremain and Nigel Winfield 1990 Photographers
  • Dexter, Giulia, Joseph, Laura, Liza, Maya, Rafael, Sarah and Sofia 2020 Photographers

Exhibition in the Half Moon foyer

Virtual Exhibition

Photographer Emma Brown and members of our Youth Theatre give a tour of the Snapped 1990 | 2020 exhibition in the Half Moon Theatre.

Gallery trail

On permanent display

Photography workshop at Four Corners

Young people's photographs from the Four Corners workshop

Research session at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Taking the Snapped 1990 | 2020 photos

Related productions

1990 | 2020 (2021)

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Interviewing for Born 1990

Born 1990 (2021)

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A montage of images representing out Happened 1990 Youth Theatre project

Happened 1990 (2021)

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