A multimedia exhibition at the [email protected] (14-18 November 2012) provided a unique and stark glimpse into the lives of a number of homeless women in London.
Told in their own words, the exhibition - entitled Where from? Where now? - lays bare the reality of women’s homelessness in London, looking at the reasons that have led women to become homeless and how they are rebuilding their lives.
Photographer Georgina Cranston spent eight months in hostels, going out with outreach teams, meeting ‘rough sleepers’ as well as women living amongst the hidden homeless population and those now in their own accommodation. Her work takes us into the lives of these women through their own voices as well as through interviews with the people who work with them.
Georgina worked closely with St Mungo’s, a leading provider of services for homeless people in London and the South, and known for its outreach work and recovery approach.
According to the latest Street to Home report from the Combined Homeless and Information Network (CHAIN), 658 women slept rough on London’s streets during 2011-12, 284 more than the year before, or a 43% increase.
Georgina Cranston said:
“Although all of the women’s stories are entirely individual, they have one thing in common: that they have survived not just one but a series of traumatic events in their lives. They have spoken of experiences such as sexual and emotional abuse, domestic violence as well as neglect and loss of children.
“My hope is that, through the exhibition, these women’s stories will reach not only other women going through a similar experience but also a wider audience, including the general public as well as service providers and policy makers.”
Thomson Reuters Elite supported the exhibition as part of St Mungo’s women’s strategy to raise awareness and improve services for homeless women. Additional resources were provided by TheKnowList, which provided web resources for the project including Georgina’s blog on the initiative and by Spectrum Photographic.
Read some of the stories here.