One-time-use cameras will be given to 100 with a lived experience of homelessness in the MyBrighton & Hove Photo Project at One Church, Brighton on Friday 29 June.
Supported by Fujifilm UK and The Royal Photographic Society, the project will result in an exhibition and a calendar. It is run locally by volunteers and social enterprise Cafe Art, and is based on the successful MyLondon project.
MyBrighton & Hove is a photography project using one-time-use cameras, engaging those who have lived experience of homelessness or are currently street homeless. The project is being run by volunteers who work with the homeless community in Brighton and Hove alongside local members of the Royal Photographic Society.
Participants are involved in the creation of a calendar, which they are invited to sell. Organiser Lucy Groenewoud says: "Working with those who are homeless or have lived experience of homelessness in Brighton and Hove, we aim to create positive community change through artistic process."
MyBrighton & Hove is working with local homeless services and charities in Brighton and Hove including Passage, Justlife, YMCA, BHA and St John Ambulance. "The calendar makes a difference to homeless people by providing employment and training opportunities, it also improves their confidence and social skills as we include the artists in all aspects of the project," says Groenewoud.
MyBrighton & Hove hopes to follow London success
The inspiration for MyBrighton & Hove comes from the MyLondon photography project organised by Café Art who connect people affected by homelessness with the wider community through their art, both hanging it in cafes and through the photography project. MyLondon is now in its sixth year, and there are now MyCity projects in Budapest, Sydney, New Orleans, Toronto, and Sao Paulo. (Check out an almost identical project run in Canada for the first time last year: see Anne-Marie Jackson of The Toronto Star's winning first place in the News Photographer's Association of Canada contest in the category of single multimedia for the project she did on MYTORONTO)
Groenewoud says: "We are very proud working in partnership with Cafe Art in the delivery of the first MyBrighton & Hove, which we hope will become an annual event."
The project is funded with the donation of one-time-use cameras and film processing and printing from Fujifilm. "Fujifilm are really pleased to be able to work with Cafe Art and the new MyBrighton & Hove project, building upon our support of MyLondon. Photography has the power to enrich people's lives and to influence or change perceptions, and we hope our modest participation helps raise the profile of homelessness and empower people affected by it," said David Honey, Director Photo Imaging Fujifilm UK Ltd.
Paul Ryan, director of Café Art said: “I have seen many people who have gain a lot from this project. By giving people a creative outlet to express themselves, participants gain confidence and self-esteem. When the calendar is ready to sell in October participants can gain work experience too. In London and the other cities doing this project thousands of people have been helped and we are excited to be able to do it in Brighton and Hove. Like all the other projects, the profits will go back into the local community either to the homeless individuals who sell the 2019 MyBrighton & Hove calendar or to support local arts initiatives.”
Homelessness on the rise
According to the latest figures, one in 69 people in Brighton and Hove are either in temporary accommodation or sleeping on the streets. * A recent survey in Brighton and Hove spoke to 170 rough sleepers over the course of a week, and found that only 31.4% of people reported having a planned activity in their lives that made them feel happy or fulfilled. **
Groenewoud said: "MyBrighton & Hove hopes to address these very topical issues, highlighting homelessness in the city, whilst providing an activity with potential for future development and opportunities.
When is MyBrighton & Hove happening?
On Friday 29 100 one-time-use cameras will be distributed at One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton. Members of the Royal Photographic Society in Brighton are supporting the handout of cameras, and also the photography training for the participants which is taking place during May and June. Participants will have 5 days to take photographs that reflect MyBrighton & Hove, from their unique viewpoint.
After cameras are handed back, the photographs are developed and judged by a panel of photography experts and those with experience of homelessness. The top 20 photos are picked and opened to a public vote, after which crowdfunding with begin in August to fund the printing of the calendar.
The photographs will be on display during October 2018 at SEAS (Socially Engaged Art Salon) BMECP Centre, Brighton.
From October to December, the calendar will be sold with the support of the photographers and local businesses.
Lucy Groenewoud, is project managing MyBrighton & Hove as a volunteer. She is a freelance designer and photographer. She says:
“I have worked and volunteered with street homeless in Brighton and Hove for the last 5 years. I follow the MyLondon calendar project on social media and really love the ethos of celebrating the beauty of the photographers view of London and the positive change this can bring in their lives. It has been a dream of mine to bring the project to Brighton and Hove, as I believe it will fit so well in our city, so I contacted Café Art to see if we could set up a MyBrighton & Hove. I am delighted that Cafe Art are able to support running MyBrighton & Hove as I feel the homeless community will benefit enormously from the opportunities the project will bring.”
We are grateful for the support of The Royal Photographic Society, Carter Wong Design, Fujifilm UK, One Church Brighton, YHA Brighton, and SEAS Salon.
Lucy Groenewoud, MyBrighton & Hove project manager: phone 07834 338263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cafe Art / MyLondon: Paul Ryan, director: phone 07517 141948 or email email@example.com
Fujifilm UK: Andy Ross, Corporate Communications Manager, FUJIFILM UK Ltd., phone 07766
497949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography projects MyLondon and MyBrighton & Hove with one-time-use FujiFilm cameras.