School story told through 100 women and girls

A new photography exhibition celebrating women from the East End has opened at Plashet school in East Ham.

By Newham Voices

A photo of Bushra Nasir
Bushra Nasir former headteacher at Plashet School is one of the 100 people snapped for the exhibition

A new photography exhibition celebrating women from the East End has opened at Plashet school in East Ham as part of the Seen the Stories project. It features 100 women and girls from Plashet school including the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz.

They range from teenagers attending the school today to a former-student in her 70s who attended Plashet in the 1950s.

The project is sponsored by City law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) and is the brainchild of former Plashet student and photographer, Meg Khan.

Each portrait is accompanied by a story providing a snapshot into the person’s life and includes includes young professional footballers, entrepreneurs, musicians, performers, writers and activists.

Two former headteachers are featured – both Heather Housdan and Bushra Nasir CBE (pictured), the first Muslim female headteacher.

Bushra Nasir said: “This is an important project that captures our wonderful Plashet School.

“By showcasing both former and current students and staff, Plashet One Hundred celebrates the history of a school that has and continues to change the lives of young women, together with impacting upon the local community.”

Rachel McGowan the current head for over a decade said: “With Plashet One Hundred we look forward to shining a spotlight on our alumni role models so our current students can aspire to what they can see.”

Alison Klarfeld, Head of Corporate Responsibility at BCLP said: “It has been wonderful to see many of the students that we have worked with on various programmes over the years thriving and fulfilling career and life aspirations. They are fantastic role models for the next generation.”

Meg said: “The magic in life I believe exists when we share our stories and our lives.

“This idea gave life to Seen the Stories in 2020 and found its way to Plashet School. As a former student of Plashet I wanted to tell the story of the school through the girls and women who went there.

“The school has a unique history of creating an environment which helps the next generation of women to grow, aspire and be seen. It is about celebrating today’s East End and the women who live there, shining a light on what makes Plashet such a special and unique place.”

Meg has already showcased her work at exhibitions across East London and had a billboard commissioned in Shoreditch.

The Plashet Old Students Association are sponsors of the exhibition, which opened on 20 September. The hundred portraits and stories will also be exhibited in various locations across London, with the second phase of this developing project launching this month.