What happens when you give members of a homeless community a disposable camera? A male-oriented company did just that, and the results are stunning.
“When we’re able to see the world through someone else’s eyes, we can better empathize with what they’re going through. By providing an outlet for a marginalized group–in this case, people experiencing homelessness–Café Art is helping to connect them to a world in which they might not feel welcome.”
The company recently gave 100 disposable cameras to homeless people in London, and asked them to capture snapshots of their everyday lives as well as what they saw around the city. The theme which their photographs were based on was “My London”.
This was reportedly the organization’s latest project, designed to give homeless men and women a voice. The project was launched in late August. The heart and soul comes from the participants whose photos depict the pain, anger and hidden violence of homelessness. In fact, Paul Ryan–co-founder of Café Art–has a personal connection with the works of art that people have submitted.
“I’ve seen changes in people–that I didn’t realize at the time–but people involved with this [project] have made huge changes just because of it.”
Out of the 100 cameras that were handed out this year, 80 were returned–with approximately 2500 photos processed. Of those, 20 have since been selected for a 2016 calendar printed by The Royal Photographic Society, a sponsoring partner of Café Art.
This is a creative initiate that takes a tremendous amount of heart and courage. One can argue that it’s the ultimate form of self expression–and in many ways, redemption. Not only that, but it serves as a building block for women who are trying to be a role model for their children, and men who are trying to provide in whatever way possible.
So if an example is to be made, let it be this: Man or woman, the responsibility to improve and get better is the mark of a true battle-tested warrior.
Cafe Art UK/Youtube