Since January 2016, 5 residents of YMCA East London have been taking part in a photography project run by Accumul8, a social enterprise set up to empower, invigorate and awaken the creative talents within vulnerable young homeless people in London.
Tutored by one of the UK art scene’s most exciting visual artists, Othello De’Souza-Hartley, and with students from Ravensbrook College assisting in developing their photographic skills, the residents have enjoyed photographing in venues, with people and in places normally inaccessible to them.
Highlights of the project this year include attending the London Fashion Week, being featured in Vogue, tweeted about by Tinie Tempah, being part of the current exhibition at The Barbican – The Strange and The Familiar – photographing a band session at The Roundhouse and creating a social media storm with the lead backing dancer from Little Mix!
Their work has culminated in the ‘Moving Forward – an exhibition of photographs by young people affected by homeless’, which is running from the 15-31 July from 10am to 6pm daily at The Guardian, King’s Place N1 9GU, and is free to enter.
Luke Dodd, Curator of The Kings Place Space at Kings Cross together with Brett Rodgers OBE, Director of the Photographers Gallery, which is curating the exhibition, have selected the best photographs for display.
Brett Rodgers OBE said
“It was a pleasure to be part of it. Some of the work was very impressive, and demonstrated how photography can support the confidence and skills of young homeless people.”
Jamila Ford-White, 18, Resident of YMCA East London said
“It was amazing taking part in the project. I felt appreciated by people who did not know me and proud of myself and the people who I had this experience with. I am very thankful to everyone involved for inspiring us to create expressive art that we are confident to have other people view.”
The exhibition has attracted much interest, with some residents appearing on London Tonight on Friday 15 July to promote the event.
Photographs are on sale, the proceeds of which are shared between the photographers and Accumul8, so that it can continue its work providing creative activities to young, homeless people in hostels across London.
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