15 October: Initial thoughts

The first lectures introducing the module have thrown up lots of uncertainty about the direction I wish my project to follow.  I have given this much thought during the summer vac and despite getting side-tracked with a couple of topics I am interested in, decided to develop further the work I did earlier in the year at the Canterbury ‘Catching Lives’ Open Day Centre.

I am interested in renewing my links with the Centre to see if the clients who were there earlier still visit and find out what has happened in the interim period.  The following are ideas I wish to investigate further:

  1. My client contact ‘Paul’ if he is still there, may agree to my spending a day with him so that I can document how he spends his time.
  2. I want to retry to gain access to the ‘Porchlight’ charity’s outreach team to gain permission to spend time with them.  Then go out in the early hours of the day to help those who have not had a bed for the night.
  3. I am interested in investigating the hostels that are available and to see what facilities are provided.
  4. To develop the idea of ‘living on the edge’ to cover aspects of poverty e.g. people living in slum conditions, or people barely surviving in the current economic climate relying on the help of food banks etc.  This may be too wide and I need to be more specific.
  5. I am interested in bringing these issues to the attention of the general public, issues that they may not be fully aware of, together with raising the profile of Catching Lives.

So my project will develop from looking at homelessness to covering poverty and those affected by it.  It raises the following questions:

  • Why does there seem to be more men than women affected?
  • Where do they go when the Centre closes for the day?
  • What about young people who are affected by poverty and unemployment that may also be living rough?

Why this project appeals to me:

This project will link in with my Dissertation in which I plan to look at Poverty and its relationship to photography.

I would like to develop this further following my previous work for the module ‘Documenting the Real’. It brought home the importance of cultivating a good network of contacts aided by my having lived in Kent since 1972 and having seen a great many changes within the community and not all of them for the good.  Challenging periods in my own life have given me a small insight into problems some people experience and a great empathy for those who are struggling. The project is my opportunity, in a small way to bring this to the attention of the viewer and help them to understand.

Through the images I have tried to present a factual, unsentimental account but at the same time have endeavoured to treat the subject as sympathetically as I can.  The person you pass by begging has a story to tell.

To return to 5 April: Final Statement & Evaluation – CLICK HERE  

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