An awareness-raising campaign that is trying to change the stereotypes surrounding homeless people in the UK through a combination of artwork, literature, film and media, and corporate presentations.
Picture by Noughts & Crosses Photography
The idea for the project came from 21-year-old James McNaughton, who four years ago found himself among the British living on the streets. James, who is committed to using the power of art to engage society with the prevalent issue of youngsters sleeping on the streets, made the idea a reality when he met British fashion photographer Perou. In James' words: "Having been homeless I know from personal experience just how difficult it is to turn your life around. One of the biggest barriers preventing young people making that transition is a lack of confidence and sense of self worth. That’s why it’s so important that, as a society, we don’t succumb to convenient stereotypes, but instead treat young homeless people with respect and dignity."
Perou, moved by the young activist's personal experience, decided to team up with him to launch a campaign that would challenge the public's perceptions of those who live on the streets. Perou explained the project was about "creating an impact and provoking a reaction". He added the main issue which all the young people he worked with kept giving voice to was the feeling that they had become "invisible" to society.
The exhibition was part of 'Homelessness & The Arts', a 2012 campaign backed and funded by O2's Think Big youth programme and also included a short documentary film, shot over 4 days in Newcastle by Jakob Marky. Watch here.