Every year Cafe Art publishes a calendar as part of the MyLondon photography contest and exhibition. It is supported by The Royal Photographic Society and endorsed by Homeless Link.
Buy the 2017 Cafe Art MyLondon calendar here
. It was launched at Spitalfields Arts Market on World Homeless Day, Monday 10 October, 2016.
OUR GOAL: TO EMPOWER PEOPLE
The issue of homelessness is at the centre of the MyLondon photography project. Run by social enterprise Café Art, the annual photography project has been a success because of the way it has empowered people affected by homelessness in many ways, including:
- engaging people in a photography project, giving them new skills including meeting people and photographic skills
- telling their personal stories in the exhibition and calendar
- giving participants skills in running an exhibition and selling photographs and calendars in a market.
Some people say that calendars are becoming redundant – people have one on their smartphones now. However we have found that they are still a popular item to buy at the end of the year and as a Christmas/Holiday gift. We know things change and we are sure we can adapt in some way in the future. By producing a calendar we can plan the project annually, so although it does not provide full-time work, it does provide supported employment experience for many people.
Printed in London
The Cafe Art MyLondon calendar has always been proudly printed in London by Printhouse Corporation.
The project could be run without the calendar component and we encourage partners to share their experiences of running exhibition projects.
WHY SINGLE-USE FILM CAMERAS?
There are many reasons why it’s easier to use a single-use film camera.
Every year about 20% of the cameras are not returned for various reasons, including of course the participant having an unstable housing situation. Losing 20 single-use cameras is not a huge problem – if they were digital it could be.
Another reason is that by having only 26 images to take, the participant has to use skills, such as planning.
Also, the management of developing 80+ roles of film is straightforward. If everyone had a digital camera it would be logistically difficult to upload all the images and get ready for selection.
We hope that you are inspired by our project in a similar way that we were inspired by the following projects, which led to the current MyLondon format.
Hope in Shadows
Paul Ryan worked on the Hope in Shadows photography project in Vancouver, Canada for seven years between 2005 and 2012. During that time he was able to develop that model, and many of the features are in the MyLondon project.
“PhotoVoice” is a general term for a methodology involving photography and narratives. It’s also the name of a UK charity promoting photography projects with marginalised people. They run projects with UK and overseas charities and they run training programmes in London.
The inclusion of the photo wall resulted from training with PhotoVoice who encourage inclusion of everyone in the project from start to finish. The PhotoVoice method with marginalised communities involves a smaller group of participants using digital cameras over a longer period of time (up to 10 sessions) and we recommend that you look into what they are doing if you want to set up a smaller project. Find out more on photovoice.org
Academic research: In 2012 Natalie Robinson did a Master’s thesis on Hope in Shadows. Several of her recommendations were followed by MyLondon. To see a copy of the thesis please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy the Cafe Art 2017 MyLondon calendar