Salford wildlife photographer, Luke Blazejewski, has shown the beautiful side of the city in his new film ‘Salford’s Wetland’ despite discovering Salford’s ugly side for himself.
Nine months into creating wildlife film ‘Salford’s Wetland’, Luke Blazejewski was mugged in the place he was creating his celebration film of Salford’s beauty.
Luke has lived in Salford for ten years and has made several films about the city’s wildlife and beauty.
Speaking of the mugging, he said: “When that happened it was the first time I had encountered the negative side of Salford and I actually spent a lot of time telling people that the city is not as dangerous as it’s perception, so being at the forefront of experiencing something like that was difficult.”
“This space that I want to raise the profile of as a great resource to the city and yet it’s being used by youths to commit crimes and get away without being recorded or caught, so that was difficult.”
During the mugging he suffered cuts and bruises as well as the loss of his bike.
He said: “I lost possessions but it also had a psychological impact and also on my relationship with the city that I’ve called home for a very long time.”
Due to the mugging taking place on the nature reserve of Salford’s wetland, there was no CCTV so the muggers were able to get away easily which, for Luke, ‘added salt to the wound’.
Luckily for Luke he received a lot of support from his friends, family and the city of Salford.
Luke said: “A local businessman came forward to offer to replace the bike. The City Mayor got in touch with me and offered his support and as a result of that he offered to give an interview for the film and then helped organise the premiere which happened last night in Swinton.”
Dianne Crowcroft, manager of Irwell Valley Sustainable Projects who chose to fund Luke Blazejewski ‘remarkable film’ of Salford’s wetlands praises his filming style and technique.
She said: “It’s the fourth film that Luke’s done throughout the five year of the project and he also did a film ‘Stories of the River Irwell’, ‘Birds of Peel Park’ and ‘The Hundred Year Flood’, so he’s got remarkable films and we just love his level of filming really.
Crowcroft showed the film prior to its premiere to her board of trustees of the Irwell Valley Sustainable Projects and admitted herself that she has watched it ‘loads of times’.