Ameena Rojee - Crocus Valley - RRB Platform
RRB Photobooks, July 2023
Softcover, printed card
First Edition of 400 copies
Edition includes 50 Special Edition copies with signed and limited Giclee print (Cattle grazing in the winter fog. Roundshaw Downs, December 2021) printed by Photographique, Bristol
Text by Shaniqua Benjamin
Cover Illustration by Bev Jones
RRP First Edition £40 | Special Edition £95
RRB Photobooks is pleased to present Crocus Valley by Ameena Rojee as our second Platform title. Platform is a new publishing project supporting emerging voices in British Documentary Photography. The project draws on the photographic legacy of RRB's existing catalogue to take part in writing the documentary tradition of the future.
In Crocus Valley, Rojee aims to show another side of Croydon, something softer that coexists with the hard truths and a story which champions Croydon’s rich natural heritage.
This story is something of a love letter to Croydon, my home. It’s a purposefully unexpected glimpse and romantic view of this cultural and generational patchwork quilt of a place that’s supposedly empty of such romance. Scenes that are rarely, if ever, depicted in the media or spoken about.
Being on this particular edge of the UK’s capital has its advantages, whether it’s hopping on the tram into Croydon’s much wilder lands – which sees big pink skies, lush rolling hills, and grazing cattle – or tracing the ancient rural remains of this strange town/city hybrid, evidence of which still remains throughout the borough; look to the names for a hint: Norwood, Selhurst ("dwelling in a wood"), Thornton Heath, Broad Green, Waddon (“the hill where woad grows”) and Croydon itself – the name is thought to mean “crocus valley”, referring to a possible history of cultivation of the Saffron flower.
The abundant nature and the not-so-hidden beauty doesn’t mean the very serious issues the town faces don’t exist; however, like they do in all London boroughs, these extremes exist side-by-side. This is simply another side to Croydon’s truth.
‘Crocus Valley’ will launch as part of Croydon’s 2023 London Borough of Culture programme.
London Borough of Culture is a Mayor of London initiative, with support from Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund. The This is Croydon programme is being delivered through a unique collaboration between the cultural organisations and people of the borough in partnership with Croydon Council.