This series of striking portraits shows Londoners engaging in their daily lives as part of an exploration of "what it means to be British".

The photographs are "Blighty", a collection of images by photographer Sam Gregg from North London.

Gregg, 29, spent the last year crisscrossing the city trying to "dig the roots" of the British capital.

He now plans to expand the project beyond London as part of his mission to get to the heart of his country.

A number of photos were shot in the East End, where remnants of British culture from the turn of the 19th Century are still visible, explained Gregg.

Gregg's nostalgic series pays special tribute to former family businesses and the daily corruption of the poor.

"I wanted to pay tribute to pastries and mash shops and all those local institutions before them, as well as their creators, have gone forever," he said.

Having spent years abroad in Thailand and Italy, the 29-year-old was struck by his sense of detachment from his birthplace.

"So many different cultures, from the West Indies to India, have helped to create modern Britain, so it is impossible to identify an essential essence," Gregg said.

Thus, on his return to the British capital in 2018, he decided to take his camera and get to know the "vibrant characters and remnants of bygone eras" that make up his vast home.

"I have spent so much time abroad that I almost forgot what it means to be British," he wrote in his introduction to the project.

"Well thinking about it, maybe I never knew it."

The photographer recognized that to truly make contact with his country, he would need to cross the borders of his capital.

Gregg plans to travel the UK to complete his exploration of "britishness".

"The goal is to tour the UK and meet people from all walks of life," he said.

"The rich and complex fabric of a country can not simply be reduced to one city, of course. But I'm from London, so it's a start. "

He also acknowledged that the Brexit turmoil and an uncertain future makes it even more difficult to reduce the nation to some sort of fixed identity.

"What does it really mean to be British?" God knows, it's almost impossible to define, "he admitted.

"All I know is that we, the British, are a complicated group, but if you go back, we're just like everyone else – with just a hint of self-deprecation and sarcasm.

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