21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Ian, Chicken Salesman

This portrait is part of a series capturing the fading world of Smithfield's midnight meat market. The project documents the last generation of butchers working on this historic central London site.   After more than 800 years of trading meat in central London, the market will relocate to a £1 billion high-tech behemoth on the outskirts of the capital. The move is part of a wider trend to sanitise inner cities with less palatable aspects of urban life kept out of sight. Soon it will not be possible to witness the night market hustle and bustle in the heart of the city. The sound of banter between men dressed in white overalls, the clang and beep of fork-lifts, and the sliding shutters of vans off to deliver fresh stock to the capitals butchers and restaurants. It breaks Smithfield's long association with food production dating back to the 12th century. The land was once a convenient place for livestock to graze and access water, as well as being on the edge of the historic city walls.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: London, United Kingdom
Copyright: © Orlando Gili