An exhibition of photography created by people with lived experience of homelessness will launch in Manchester this Saturday 9 July.
Throughout June, People of the Streets (POTS) invited 10 photographers, 8 with lived experience, and two support workers from across Greater Manchester to join them for a photography and storytelling course.
Their photography can be viewed in a citywide exhibition called Home, with work being displayed at Manchester Cathedral, The Royal Exchange from Saturday 9 – Sunday 17 July.
The work will then move to Ashton Metrolink Station from 21 -23 July.
An open launch event will take place between 12 – 2pm on Saturday 9 July in Manchester Cathedral
Prints of the photos exhibited will be for sale online, with 50% of the sale price, going to POTS photographers.
Lisa, one of the photographers, said: “To be part of this photography course and exhibition is a privilege. To be making a difference and most importantly to be learning new skills in photography - for that I am grateful.”
People of the Streets CIC (POTS), led by Bury-based CEO Alex Greenhalgh (26) and Project Co-Director Ollie Bream McIntosh (27), have co-produced Home - a series of exhibits shining a light on homelessness in Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Housing First Pilot, a new innovative approach to tackling homelessness, through the first-person narratives of the people who have first-hand lived experience and expertise.
The aim is to educate and inform the public on the housing emergency in Manchester, and the case for the Housing First Pilot, whilst personifying and humanising the people at the centre of it.
POTS CEO Alex Greenhalgh said: “We are so excited to bring our latest and most ambitious exhibition yet to Manchester this July. The photography produced this year has been outstanding, and paints a compelling picture of the urgent need to put holistic person-centred support at the centre of our nation’s response to the homelessness emergency, alongside removing obstacles to permanent housing.”
Matt Kidd, Co-Production Lead at Greater Manchester Housing First & POTS Photographer (with lived experience) said: “The life for many homeless people means being constantly overwhelmed by toxic stress and trauma. Many people with safety, security and wellness take it for granted and will never be able to truly appreciate how hard it is to manage your life when you don’t have access to these things.
“No-one should ever be viewed as intentionally homeless; we should instead understand what unrealistic demands and challenges the system put in place which led to them losing their home.”
The POTS photography and storytelling course has been led by Manchester photographer Nathan Whittaker (Aka Manc Wanderer). Like all POTS exhibits (Nottingham 2017, Manchester 2018, Tel Aviv and Padova 2019, London 2020), all photos have been taken on disposable cameras.
Manchester Cathedral’s Dean Rogers Govender said: “I am very pleased that Alex Greenhalgh, Project Co-Director Ollie Bream McIntosh, and colleagues have brought this incredible exhibition to Manchester Cathedral. Having a home of one’s own makes all the difference to our lives. This exhibition calls us to reflect deeply on the need to ensure that every person has a place they can call home where they can live in comfort and safety and flourish as human beings made in the image of God.”
This latest exhibition, commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, comes exactly four years since their last exhibition in Manchester’s Arndale.