It is important that the CALM x 1854 Homeless Truths commission is provocative and has lasting impact. “It’s about homelessness no longer being invisible,” says Latif. “We need to start conversations that lead somewhere and bring change.” Gunning agrees. When CALM set out on this project in collaboration with 1854, it was with the intention to amplify the voices of those who have themselves experienced homelessness, and in doing so, present a more authentic and less one-dimensional view. “Too often those experiencing homelessness are ignored,” he says. “They are made to feel like they are ‘other’ or people to be pitied. Their humanity is often taken away. By asking the participants to shoot how they feel and share the reality of their life with us, we wanted to turn this point of view around.”
For Wayne, it is more simple: “I just want my images out there,” he says. “Being homeless and not having a family unit, or people to help you, can create depression and push people further away from society. Perhaps people might see this and recognise a friend experiencing something similar and reach out to them.”
The experiences of homelessness that have been shared in this project should make you think; compel you to want change. Latif is optimistic. “I sincerely think that with the publishing of this project and the sincerity of the people I have worked with, it can have a different impact, in a way that politicians can’t have,” he says. “Photography can have a real strength if done in a way that respects and is honest. It can really bring change.”
For more information visit CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Each of the participants’ projects will be published on 1854.photography this week. They each received compensation for their work.
Café Art, an organisation that empowers homeless artists in London, and Evolve, a housing and support charity, were both instrumental in finding and supporting the individuals that took part in this project. CALM has also helped support the participants throughout the project and will continue to support them after the campaign.