Tuesday, October 19

Meeting London’s Two-wheeled Messengers: A Photographic Essay | Art and Design

secondThe icycle and moto couriers have operated in London for a long time, but in the early days there were only a handful of companies, mainly delivering documents on the Square Mile. Modern society has increased the demand for this service, with startups and established businesses creating work that can suit people from different walks of life.

The dramatic changes and restrictions in the way we live caused by the Covid pandemic have made this profession a key service. Couriers deliver food, purchases, medicine and other products to millions of customers who are forced to stay indoors. Against the rain, the cold winds, under the hot summer sun, they have been helping Londoners risking their health and working long hours in traffic.

Antonio, a pilot from Italy

  • Antonio, a pilot from Italy. He has been working for a food delivery company for several years, mainly in central and east London.

I lost most of my job as a documentary photographer during the first UK shutdown, so I was forced to find a new income and decided to start working as a pilot. I have been talking to other cyclists since I started this job, who shared their life stories and work experiences. As a documentary photographer, I really wanted to portray them, with the aim of highlighting and praising the sometimes-forgotten importance of their work.

Nathiely from southern Brazil

Nathiely, from southern Brazil, enjoys the freedom of being a delivery person.

Valentina collects and delivers Covid evidence

Valentina: “I collect and deliver Covid tests three days a week. I cover about 70 miles and stop about 10 times to pick them up and take them to the hospital. Our work as couriers offers a very important service to Londoners, but I feel like a lot of people don’t understand the value of what we do, how challenging it can be and the risks we face every day on the road. “

Adam, bike messenger and photographer

Adam, a bicycle messenger and photographer, has worked as a cyclist for many years day and night. He is trying to save money to fulfill his dream of traveling to Australia.


David: “The blocking has definitely been a challenge for me and the other riders I talk to on a daily basis. The drop radius has been increased to cover office workers who live near the center, resulting in more trips for a similar salary. Also, access to basic amenities during your shift has disappeared and this could occasionally be a big problem. On a lighter note, I have loved walking through a city without traffic. “

Alex, from Colombia, born and raised in Hackney is a talented graphic illustrator.

Alex, whose parents are from Colombia, was born and raised in Hackney, and is a talented graphic illustrator. He has been riding for various companies for the past three years while developing his creative career.

Deborah and Naiara

Deborah and Naiara: “We got married in Brazil and immediately afterwards we traveled to continental Europe, where we spent a few months, before moving to the UK. We are working hard to save money for a new accommodation in London and to travel to our country to properly celebrate our marriage with our families.

Ali is originally from Tunisia and has three children.

Ali is originally from Tunisia and has three children.

Shake is from Uzbekistan.  He has built his electric bicycle himself.  He works full time and is studying for a Bachelor of Business Administration in London.

Shake from Uzbekistan has built his electric bicycle himself. Work full time while studying for a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Claudia, Uber Eats driver since September

Claudia has been a user of Uber Eats since September.

Messengers in London are of different origins and ages.  Alfie is British, 25 years old and lives in East London.

The messengers in London come from different backgrounds and of all ages. Alfie is British, 25 years old and from East London.

It is not a job for everyone, it is exhausting and riding a bike in London can be dangerous at times.  But its flexibility and the appeal of being your own boss make it a perfect job for many Londoners.

Jonathan works for Uber Eats and Deliveroo in the Square Mile area. “It is not a job for everyone; It’s tiring and biking in London can sometimes be dangerous. But its flexibility and the appeal of being your own boss make it a perfect job for many Londoners. “


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