The Oxford Dictionary says that the definition of a ‘tiger’ when applied to a person is:
‘Used to refer to someone fierce, determined, or ambitious:
‘despite his wound, he still fought like a tiger’ ‘
After this research, I decided to take the task title creatively.
Instead of taking photographs of ‘Flying Tiger’ buses and the club ‘Tiger Tiger’; I looked for people, businesses, ‘things’ that appeared determined, ambitious, courageous, people that stood out against the masses of the city.
I first noticed a couple of boys, they were dressed differently and stood out in the crowd. Their styled seemed to catch the stares of others, as they appeared to follow the ‘skin-head’ trend. ‘Skinheads’ were known to be feared due to their beliefs, beliefs they were determined in spreading to others and following themselves.
I walked further and came across a woman who was handing out copies of The Big Issue. She dressed as a Muslim and spoke very little English (this became apparent when I was unable to interview her). This woman stuck me as determined to make a life for herself. Vendors must invest in the magazine (£1.25 per copy) and sell the magazine at £2.50. The vendors then have access to support such as housing. Despite stereotypes, this woman was working in the cold temperatures of February and chose a path for herself.
Further down Albion Street, a Palestine street-food vendor had set up his business. To open your own business takes determination and ambition. I gained a short interview with one thirds of the family business, Rashid:
We are a family ran business that started in 2003 and onto the streets of Leeds in February last year. We started our business as we saw a demand in healthy food in the city that offered something different culturally.
News stories have recently been released about ‘Deliveroo’ workers. They are so desperate for work that they will stand in the cold, with their bicycle, sometimes for an hour and wait for a job that enables them to hop on their bike and transport food from shop to customer. In light of this, I captured a Deliveroo worker dismounting her bicycle as she was about to pick up food. I believe this shows how determined and fierce employees, like her, are to work.
I then spoke to a busker, Jonny Walker. In my eyes, it takes courage and fearlessness to go onto the streets and express yourself through music. I asked him what it was like to busk in Leeds:
I’ve been busking for years. Some people dance and smile at me while I play, I’ve had the occasional drunken geezer tell me I’m sh*t but I enjoy doing this, but I wouldn’t pass on a million pound contract either.
Lastly, I took a photograph of a coffee-shop billboard. Many flyers and posters that appear on the board are from self-start businesses and free events. These people are determined to spread their voice, their talent, their insight. They show ambition.
So perhaps no tigers, but a whole lot of determination, ambition and fearlessness.