By Mark McConville
STUNNING pictures have offered a unique perspective of London after 100 cameras were given to homeless people to photograph the capital city.
The incredible images show national pride in England’s performance at the World Cup with St George’s Cross flags flown at an apartment block, a man walking past remarkable street art and two workers taking a break outside a pie shop.
Other striking shots show kids enjoying themselves along the river bank, dogs showing off huge sticks and sunglasses and people dipping their feet into a fountain during the heatwave.
In June, 100 disposable Fujifilm cameras were handed out to rough sleepers, sofa surfers and other people affected by homelessness at St Paul’s Cathedral. Five days later the cameras were returned and the film developed with incredible results.
The photographers in the MyLondon Photo Project exhibition, run by Cafe Art, have all experienced homelessness. The goal of the project was to focus on what they love about London.
The exhibition opens in Spitalfields Arts Market, Brushfield Street, on Monday 30, July and is up for seven days and every photo is for sale, earning money for rough sleepers, sofa surfers and other people who have experienced homelessness.
“The project has been very successful in helping give participants a sense of self-worth. By giving them confidence they are able to go further,” said Paul Ryan from Cafe Art.
“The project has inspired other projects around the world and we have connected Fujifilm with partner projects in many cities, including Budapest, Sydney, New Orleans and Toronto.
“This year we helped set up MyBrighton and Hove and their calendar will launch at the same time as our one in October.”
Twenty photos were chosen as finalists and are voted on by the public to get a chance of getting into the 2019 MyLondon calendar. More than 200 other photos are in the exhibition as every participant was asked to choose their best photos to exhibit.
The project is now in its sixth year and participants in the project have earned more than £150,000 from selling their photos and the annual MyLondon calendar. The winners of this year’s exhibition, as chosen by public vote, will go into the 2019 MyLondon calendar in October.
The Royal Photographic Society has supported the project since 2013 and the executive director Dr Michael Pritchard said: “Café Art has found an innovative way to use photography to support and empower the homeless to change their own lives for the better”.
The exhibition in Spitalfields Arts Market is funded by Tower Hamlets council. The exhibition runs from Monday 30, July to Sunday 5, August in Spitalfields Arts Market from 10am to 5pm. The market is also providing space for artists who have been homeless and they are being mentored by regular market traders next week.