Inspirational People is a collaboration between The Booth Centre, Manchester, and photographer Matt Priestley to create an exhibition which celebrates the strengths of people who have experienced homelessness.
At its core the project features individuals who visit The Booth Centre. Each participant has posed for a portrait that captures his or her individuality. They show a proper sense of pride in who they are and what they have achieved.
Alongside each picture is a piece of artwork, poetry, or prose, which showcases their artistic abilities. Many of them contain messages of hope that they would like to share with the public.
People who are homeless are often labelled by society using derogatory language which defines them as problems; “beggars”, “rough sleepers”, “drug users” or “alcoholics”. In this exhibition, the people in the portraits have chosen titles which describe their unique personalities. They tell the world how they would like to be seen. The portraits and artworks are in stark contrast to the usual media depictions of homelessness, often portraying people as faceless victims with no individuality. They tend to focus on rough sleeping and don’t show the bigger picture. Which is that people from all walks of life can find themselves homeless. Although some may end up on the streets, very few of them will ever resort to begging. Many more live in hostels or sofa-surf with friends. And most importantly, people are climbing out of homelessness every day. Rebuilding their lives. Making positive contributions to their communities.
The Exhibition launches on the 1st March