Photographer: Roy Mehta
There are not many people from the Maldives living in London, so it had been tricky finding someone willing to be photographed. I did not know anyone personally so tried the obvious avenues such as Facebook, but without success.
Eventually, after a lot of phone calls, I met some people in the Maldivian Embassy who agreed to be photographed. Mohammed, Fareena and Ismail lived near each other in Finchley, North West London. This is where the image of Ismail was made, in late September 2011. His two colleagues from the Embassy were also curious about the project, and everyone had a keen interest in photography.
My original idea had been to try and relate the image somehow to an aspect of the Maldives but, in the end, this felt too contrived. I wanted to avoid any obvious London landmarks and instead chose this area as an embodiment of suburban London. I have been working on a kind of still life project about suburbia so the location fitted in well with these ideas.
by Roy Mehta, photographer http://www.roymehta.com