Photographs reveal reality of life on the streets in Ipswich
An exhibition at Ipswich Library is giving the public a rare glimpse into the life of people living homeless in the town.
The ‘Life on the Streets’ exhibition was created by giving 12 homeless people in Ipswich a disposable camera and asking them to take pictures of anything they have an emotional connection to.
The photographers, who organisers are keeping anonymous for their safety, are a mix of those living in temporary accommodation and others living rough on the streets.
The fascinating exhibition, which opens at the library on Saturday, February 2, gives a insight into their daily lives and what means the most to them.
While some captured Ipswich’s dark side, with gritty images of drug paraphernalia and rough sleeping spots, many offer a more optimistic and hopeful view on the town.
One photographer, who used to be in the merchant navy, had a particular interest in boats at Ipswich’s Waterfront, capturing stunning images of the morning sunshine glinting on the ships.
Showing how tough life can be without a home, of the 12 photographers who took part one has since died and another is now in prison.
Adrian Manning, volunteer who has helped curate the exhibition, said it showed a side of Ipswich most never see.
He said: “At first I was quite cynical about the project because I had assumed people had other priorities – warmth, food and safety. But when I simplified it and just said go out and take pictures of whatever you feel an emotional connection to it just took off.
“On a fundamental level it proves there is no them and us. “We are all human beings and if I had chosen 12 different people we would have 12 very different set of pictures.”
The exhibition is being organised by charity Volunteering Matters in partnership with Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust’s health outreach team.
Fiona Hanlon, from Volunteering Matters, said: “We wanted to do something that would really engage people. “So we decided to give out disposable cameras – I wasn’t even sure if you could still buy them – and asked people to take photos of anything they liked or had an emotional connection to.
“The photos they took are all very different and really reflect the individuals.”
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