Homeless people are often described as having ‘falling through the cracks in society’. Every day in Romford we walk past many homeless people, we may recognise their faces, we may exchange coins and even a 'hello', but rarely as local residents do we get to hear the stories, opinions and ideas of those living on the streets. We want to use street art to give homeless people a voice within the community in which they live. We want to challenge the perception of homeless people in our town, demonstrating that homeless people are no different than any other people, that homelessness could happen to any of us. We want to partner street artists and homeless people together, to devise street art pieces that represent the stories, dreams and opinions of each homeless person. We will work with artists and building owners to develop art work before securing permission to paint, ensuring landowners are part of the entire process. No money will be taken if sufficient space is not secured.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Last year we started our mission, working with local artists to produce four street art murals which now proudly brighten up our High Street. An overwhelming response from our community fuelled us to take Colour in Romford a step further, inviting international artists such as Ben Eine to work with our local heroes including the British electronic band Underworld to immortalise the communities words and experiences on our buildings. Twelve murals later we truly believe in the power of street art to galvanise people’s pride, expression and love for our town. Moving forwards we want to harness this art form to give people who have lost their voices a platform from which to be heard. 8000 people sleep rough on the streets of London every year. Homeless people come from all walks of life, and homelessness can happen to anybody. This project aims to give homeless people back their voice and challenge negative perceptions of homelessness in the wider community.
Steps to get it done:
We will secure public sites throughout town and commission these works to be painted by the street artists and homeless people themselves. Not only do the art works act as a stage for expression, and an awareness raising tool, but will also brighten up the very streets on which the homeless people live - giving them a connection back to their community and the ability to create change in their own environment. We will create a short film of the project which can be circulated to a wider audience, again, acting as a creative platform from which to promote the voices of the homeless and challenging negative perceptions of homelessness. We will also work with a local homeless charity to ensure at all times the project is tailored to the particular needs of the homeless individuals that we work with.
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