The photo was chosen from hundreds submitted to the competition and is to be exhibited as part of the Big Noise Festival this coming Saturday (13 June) which showcases theatre, music, performance, art and photography and raises funds for The Big Issue Foundation.
Kevin’s thought provoking photo mixes the image of a rough sleeper place at the edge of the Thames with a series of icons from the Homeless City Guide ( a language invented for homeless people to communicate about things like safety, shelter, and free food by chalking symbols on pavements, buildings etc)
“The photo was edited to look like a picture from an accommodation listing website like Gumtree or Where to Sleep.” says Kevin ,” A description was then added drawn from the publicity material for the nearby Savoy Hotel. The photo is an attempt to point to the irony of the close location of rough sleeper places and five star hotels. It’s the kind of thing we take for granted in modern cities because we have become numb to it. The photograph tries to question that numbness. In a nutshell having been homeless myself for a while and having worked on homeless issues I find things like the Homeless City Code really odd. It is part of a very romantic idea of what it is to be homeless, that there is some culture of people helping each other (not my experience). The series of six from which the picture is taken also tries to spotlight the crazy inequality of having homeless people sleeping rough within throwing distance of 5 star hotels. So the ‘accommodation listing blurb ‘ for the rough sleeper place is actually taken from the nearby hotel’s publicity.”
The project also has its own fake accommodation listing website where people can book accommodation online.
Big Noise Festival, Sat 13 June, 6pm – 6am, The Coronet, Elephant & Castle, SE1
All proceeds go directly to The Big Issue Foundation helping to fight homelessness
The text accompanying the photo states:
“2 bed accommodation near the Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych
Explore London’s West End from this unusual accommodation close to the iconic Waldorf Hilton hotel in Theatreland, 5 minutes’ walk from fantastic shopping in Covent Garden. Dine in style next to the River Thames, de-stress with the wide open vistas or even go for a refreshing dip. Visit top London attractions within a mile radius of this central London accommodation, including the London Eye and Trafalgar Square or enjoy a the bustle of theatreland. Situated where the city meets the West End, the accommodation is perfect for business or leisure travellers alike.
– Good food thrown away here
– Potential for work
– Dangerous neighbourhood
– An attack happened here
– Message board nearby
– Good place to drink and smoke