Assignment 1: Ideas Part 1 – 150MC

My first idea revolves around the homeless, I decided that I would initially have a look at some artists that looked into this issue. My first part was “Hide that Can” by Deirdre O’Callaghan. This book was based on those that had moved from Ireland to England to live in houses in North London (Arlington House). But rather from the norm of taking pictures of people sleeping in the street (like you would see if you typed in homelessness into Google) it was focused on those living in the homeless shelters.

D O'C 2 [1] D O'C [2] D O'C 4 [3]

There was no false façade at all, but it was a more honest truth about who these people are, letting them being themselves. As in the beginning of the book, Bono talked about Ireland was so different at the time with ideals from religion and movements. these photographs were intended to be a truth; one that could both be “beautiful and disturbing”

This thought was further influenced by the work of Anthony Luvera, who actually let the subjects be the photographers. Before the pictures were taken, he taught some people who were living rough how to use the cameras. This meant that for his pieces, they became both the subject and photographer,as he wanted them to self-represent themselves. And by doing this it allows the pictures to be true and honest towards the viewer. But his main aim was to highlight the ethics behind taking a picture when we photograph someone else. And in a way it shows that being homeless isn’t that bad; it’s not as rough as one may think it is

luvera 10 [4]luvera 16 [5]luvera [6]

So for my next part of my research, I am thinking about going to go to a homeless shelter nearby for the day, so I can get an understanding of the true persona’s of those living there. And what I hope I can do is take a compact camera with me, and pass it around to everyone so they can take the pictures for themselves. It should hopefully be an interesting time, and should offer some interesting images.

But leading on from the idea of the pictures being true and honest, the other side for the social outskirts for my project was those from the LGBT group. So today, I went along to one of their meetings just to get a perspective really. And as being straight, the experience was quite nerve wrecking for me as I felt like I was the odd one out, as if I was the outcast ironically. Yet I felt like I was welcome, as if no one was really bothered at all. So I quickly became settled and was listening in to what was being said.
And it really made me think. The personal side of me was asking myself questions such as do I belong here, what’s the others opinions on me like etc. But then the photographer side came into play, as I was thinking about this power-relationship side of the pictures. With it all being very delicate situation, what was the way I had to go to be sensitive, and not hurt anyone? And it came back to the idea of giving the subjects the role of photographer really.
So I spoke to the president afterwards, asking for permission to go with this idea, as I wouldn’t want to barge in without making sure it was ok with everyone. And I feel that to go forward with this idea, I have to get to know everyone better and explain my idea to them, so that they can say for themselves if they want to be part of it or not. As I feel the best approach towards a project like this is honesty. And if I don’t say the truth or leave things out, it would all come crumbling down really.

Daniel Campbell Blight (April 2012) The Silence of Photographic Testimony: Anthony Luvera’s Residency [online] from < >

O’Callaghan D, Kicking the Can 2002 (Hardback), Foreword
[1] O’Callaghan D, Kicking the Can 2002  [online] from < > – Thumbnail 1
[2] O’Callaghan D, Kicking the Can 2002  [online] from < > – Thumbnail 10
[3] O’Callaghan D, Kicking the Can 2002  [online] from < > – Thumbnail 4
[4] Luvera A, Residency 2001-08 [online] from < > Image 19
[5] Luvera A, Residency 2001-08 [online] from < > Image 16
[6] Luvera A, Residency 2001-08 [online] from < > Image 10

Victoria and Albert Museum, Contemporary Documentary Photographers: Deirdre O’Callaghan [Online] available from <;


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