Submitted by seven photographers:
Awen Dominic Lauron (Philippines), Brittainy Newman (USA), Daniel Baksza (UK), Jonathan Jones (France), Clive Seymour (UK), Hamza Tihouna (Morocco) and Kirsty MacDonald (UK).
Spare me a penny
(by Awen Dominic Lauron)“This blind man is usually left by his relatives near a church to beg. I brought along my Nikon D90 camera with a zoom lens and took the picture at around 9:30 in the morning. The light was coming from his left side and it was dark in the church. I intentionally took it directly from his left to emphasize his profile and I was exactly across the street.
I shared a few bucks with this man; just enough for him to live another day.”
Homeless, not Hopeless
(by Brittainy Newman)“I use photography as a means to document the world around me. I make pictures that call attention to things that other people overlook. My work explores issues of homelessness in New York City. Unlike the usual photo journalist, I actually approach the subject asking if I can take their photo, rather than taking it unexpectedly. Each person I have captured has their own story. By presenting these faces on a large scale, we are forced to confront them and the situations they share with so many others like themselves. My goal is to use my camera like Alice’s rabbit hole, to open an unexplored world, a place of curious self-expression, a place where the homeless have a home, and most importantly a place where new stories are created.”
(by Daniel Baksza)“I think people’s attitudes need to change. Their thoughts about life and money in particular, since most of them think money is life. If you look at my image, the guy in front is playing a harp, and it was very cold outside, but he was enjoying himself even with only one arm. He was earning some coins with his performance and tried to enjoy it. The people sitting behind him obviously look very bored, and it is clear when you look at them they have no idea what to do with their lives. They are sitting in a fancy cafe with money, but they still don’t know what to do.
To me this image shows the average person today – people cannot live in their present but only in the past and the future. They cannot enjoy themselves, because they’ve been told they need this and they need that to be happy, and they believe it. They’ll never be happy as long as they don’t have everything they’ve been told to have. Also, at the same time, there’s a huge ignorance about the things they really should do as humans. To help others, to say “thank you” more often, and just take a coffee or a tea for this guy on the front, and stop being ignorant about others. Money changed people and people changed the world, can the world be changed only if money disappears?”
Ignorance of poverty in our own country
(by Jonathan Jones)“Today for me what needs to change is the ignorance of poverty in our own country. Most people know it exists, but many of them just choose to ignore it. They live on our streets, feed from our dustbins, and dress in the old clothes we decide to throw away. Most of them did not choose to live this way.
Homeless people are not asking for much. But when they say hello, they wait for an answer which will make them feel that they still exist and are still part of the world we live in. They do not expect much. To feed someone does not cost much. They do not harm anyone.
Some people would write a bit cheque to save the children of the world and yet will not give a penny to the homeless guy he walks past every day. This for me is something that need to change. We should start by taking care of our own poverty problem in our own countries before sending money to save poverty in other countries.”
The girl with the blue eyes
(by Clive Seymour)“When out with the charity “Love Brigade” delivering bags of clothes, food and blankets to the homeless, I came across this couple who, because they would not sleep in separate shelters, were forced to live outside in February. The Girl with the most beautiful blue eyes said: “I sleep and he looks after me, then he sleeps and I look after him”.
When the 500 bags had been handed out and the volunteers came back, some of the feedback was astounding. “They are just like us,” was one comment that was heard. Another volunteer said that a police officer said words to the effect of, “Well, this only encourages them. They are only scroungers and paedophiles”.
We need to “see” people, not walk past them. We have to look into their eyes, not pretend that they are invisible. Certain elements within society need to change their views on the causes of homelessness and what can be done to alleviate it.
The biggest change I hope for is that the couple in the photo find somewhere they can wake up together and for the first thing they see to be each other!”
(by Hamza Tihouna)“WWhat needs to change? We need to change ourselves. “You can spend the money on new housing for poor people and the homeless, or you can spend it on a football stadium or a golf course.” – Jello Biafra
Attitude towards the homeless
(by Kirsty MacDonald)“Never have I seen such a dramatic division between classes. Every single day of my 155-day visit I witnessed people desperate for help and not receiving it. It was impossible for me – one person – to supply these people with what they needed. Despite there being many charities for third world countries, millions of people have still not been reached. The wealthy in India need to put themselves amongst the poor to really see what life is like, and together feed them, clothe them, and care for them. The men in this picture are just two of the many people I discovered sleeping amongst litter, without food, drink or a home.
What needs to change: India’s attitude to the poor, the starving and the homeless.”
The photo was taken in May 2012 near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.