You can make a difference
Across the UK there are around 320,000 people caught up in some form of homelessness, living hand to mouth on the street or in terrible quality accommodation not fit for human habitation.
When caught up in the frantic business of our day-to-day lives it is easy to pass by and forget that these are all people just like us, someone's son or daughter who has ended up falling on hard times. It could be any of us.
This project is called Outsiders - A Journey Through Homelessness and through iconic imagery and audio testimony it aims to shine a light on the issues facing homeless people from their perspective. Homeless people I have spoken to often say that it is being ignored and treated as something less than human which hurts the most.
Outsiders is being done in collaboration with the charity Shelter and in participation with people who have lived experience of homelessness. There are no subjects in this project just participants who have offered to share their stories and have the day-to-day reality of their lives photographed and shared.
I will be working with homeless people in Manchester and London and will engage them all properly with the creative process so they have control over how they are portrayed.
The project is entirely self-financed so I need your help to make this a reality. Your donation will make a very real difference to the lives of these people and will challenge decision-makers by showing them the stark reality of the way so many people are forced to live in one of the richest economies in the world.
In 1968 Nick Hedges was commissioned by Shelter to produce an enduring record of bad housing conditions at the time. He was shocked to the core by what he found. This new project will seek to highlight what, if anything, has changed.
Outsiders is a long-term project which will challenge the myth that only those who we see on the streets are homeless. How the money will be used
The project will take around two years to complete and will involve working with people in marginalised communities across the U.K. in partnership with Shelter and Inspiring Change Manchester. Five main groups will be covered: entrenched rough sleepers, people in substandard housing, women's support groups, people in transition from homelessness to a stable home environment and homeless people who have been empowered through the creative arts.
The funding is needed to help meet the expenses of the project (mostly travel, low budget accommodation in the target cities, purchase of film, developing and scanning of the films etc). All of the donations will be used on actual expenses necessarily incurred to deliver the project. The overall scope of the project will depend on how much money can be raised.
Once the photographs and testimony have been captured the aim is to produce a touring exhibition, a website and if possible a book and to use these to raise public awareness of the issues facing homeless people, to break down barriers and to try to address the dehumanising way in which homeless people are often treated,
You can find more about the project on my website here https://davenantphotos.wordpress.com/outsiders/
and can also see examples of my photography here https://davenantphotos.wordpress.com/portfolio-2/ What it means in practice
This is a not-for-profit project with the sole aim of benefiting members of the homeless community and amplifying the voices of those who are all too often ignored by society.
Your donation will make an enormous difference to the project which involves a lot of costs travelling to and engaging with homeless people in different locations across the UK and building long-term relations with them.
Anyone who makes a donation of £100 or more will be entitled to a limited edition signed print from the Outsiders series and will also be named as a donor on the website.
Whatever you can afford to donate I will be eternally grateful.
Please note Sarah Aston is shown as a beneficiary by the system as she is acting as my agent and will be drawing down the money for me. All donations will go to the project.