Picture the consequences of the rising economic and political power of the “one per cent”—and the result is Harrodsburg: an up-close wealth safari exploring the wildlife that inhabits the super-rich residential and retail district of Knightsbridge and Chelsea in London.
The project is a powerful, timely and stark exposé of the emergence of an ultra-affluent elite who have turned London into a global reserve currency, changing the face of our city, pricing out the upper middle-class natives of Central London, while excluding first-time buyers from the city and marginalizing old wealth from their honored habitats.
With one in ten purchases made through secretive offshore holding companies, old communities are being uprooted and displaced, terraces and housing estates ripped out and replaced with overpriced wood and glass boxes. In a phenomenon dubbed “lights-out-London,” a mass of buy-to-leave absentee property owners are pushing up house prices without contributing to the local economy, adding insult to injury.
The story of glut, greed and the wealth gap is playing out on the streets of a city which has seen a 400% rise in demand for food banks in the last year.
Harrodsburg, then, is used to house London’s “posh.” This phenomenon has evolved into the various tribes of the global super-rich buying up London homes like they are gold bars, as assets to appreciate rather than as homes in which to live. Flocking to their London residences (when they are there) with their air freighted million-pound-plus gold-plated Bugattis, they infuriate the remaining long-term residents as they cruise around the area, causing a ceaseless noise pollution. Meanwhile their wives and daughters are weighed down with bling and shopping bags amidst the luxury retail spree that accompanies the season.
An uncompromisingly revealing series of pictures which satire the super rich and their spending habits in uncomfortably intimate and gaudy detail.
Editors’ note: This series was named a winner in the street category of the Magnum Photography Awards 2016. Discover more inspiring work from all 44 winning photographers—remarkable work in all genres from around the world.