Oxford Polytechnic alumnus’ exhibition celebrates East Oxford community

Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Kazem Hakimi

Oxford Polytechnic alumnus and photographer Kazem Hakimi has opened his first major exhibition of portraits at Modern Art Oxford and Arts at the Old Fire Station this week.

The exhibition, entitled Kazem Hakimi: Portraits from a Chip Shop, is a photographic record of his community which Kazem has created by posing his customers against a white wall at the back of his fish and chip shop on Iffley Road. 

Kazem is well known in the East Oxford community, having run his fish and chip shop for 25 years. He has been working on the project for the last two years and hopes that the exhibition captures the diversity of the community. Speaking to the Mail Online, he said: “There are different races, different upbringings and different nationalities. I wanted to make a map charting all of the people who live here.

There are different races, different upbringings and different nationalities. I wanted to make a map charting all of the people who live here. I love the community so I wanted to keep a record of it.

Kazem Hakimi, photographer and Oxford Polytechnic alumnus

“I love the community so I wanted to keep a record of it. Most of the people I’ve photographed are my friends.”

Kazem studied Civil Engineering at Oxford Brookes University’s predecessor institution Oxford Polytechnic in the 1980s but spent a lot of time in the photography department. Kazem said: “Oxford Poly was a fun place to be studying and I made many friends there. I am still in touch with a few of them – including two of the photography lecturers from that time – Paddy Summerfield and John Gotto. 

“I have fond memories of excursions into the Oxford parks with Paddy and our cameras!”

Portraits from a Chip Shop runs until 2 July 2017. More information can be found on the Modern Art Oxford website