I returned to the streets my grandparents had willingly left to find the last of the elderly Jewish East Enders and to hear their stories. I spent my days talking with people in shops and old people’s homes and walking the streets where my grandparnts had walked.
Over time, I began to pick up traces left by other groups of people who had lived in the area. I learned that the Latin inscription ‘Umbra Sumus’ above the great mosque, which was once a synagogue and before that a church, translates as ‘We are Shadows’.
From Rachel Lichtenstein’s On Brick Lane (2007)