Living on the streets

Repost from an earlier blog…..

Copyright of Don Mccullin

Recently I’ve been watching some awesome documentaries and find myself constantly flicking through youtube, BBC Iplayer and Netflix.

One of the documentaries that really stood out to me was ‘Mcullin‘. This film is about a War/ Homeless Photographer called ‘Don Mccullin’, spoken by Mcculin himself, we hear the stories about how he began photographing his subjects and the reasons on why he carried on through the pain and terror he saw people experience. He shows us the imagery he produced within the years he spent at war and later showed us the faces of the ghosts upon our own streets. Each photograph he took was heart wrenching and I found myself in tears as I saw the pain in each person’s eyes, but I admired Mccullin’s determination to photograph the pain to show the rest of the world the truth in our society. He tried his best to help them, carrying the injured in the wars and most of all spent his time talking to the people he met on the streets. Showing them that some-one does care and does see them. If you get chance please check this documentary out. You can find it on the UK Netflix.

Copyright of Mike. F. Shaw (The Forgotten)

This brings me to my next point. Above is a photograph taken by Mike. F. Shaw a professional photographer based in the UK. Recently he has started a Facebook page called ‘The Forgotten‘. His aim is to ‘bring light to those no longer seen’, ‘to tell their stories’ and ‘stop people from looking away.’

Mike is driven by his aim and enjoys not only photographing the people he meets but spending time talking to them. It is obvious how much he cares and you can tell from looking at a single photograph that he captures the moment, the emotion and the character of the person in front of him. To that person sat there, a simple hello or even time spent with them will mean the world. What I see Mike doing is beautiful and what humanity needs. Its crazy to think in this day and age that people are still forced to live without shelter and food.

Copyright of Natasha Aldred 2014

The picture above was taken by me in Manchester, July 2014.  His name was Marco a lovely gentleman who had been living on the streets since christmas day. When he first saw us he was weary but after a while spoke to us with ease. He told us how he’d been beaten up and some lads had broken a couple of his ribs and how he found joy in creating art. Rummaging through my bag i found some spare pencils and a sketchbook and gave him the items. With this he offered to draw us, and we sat listening to his stories as he did with ours. He gave me back the sketchbook after, refusing to take it but leaving the picture in there all signed and dated for us to remember. Shaking his hand we said goodbye and wished him well.

It’s crazy how things can snowball. There’s no way of knowing your own safety. Imagine yourself without your job and without your family and friends for support. Where could you be? So don’t forget this when you see some-one sitting there in the street. Sometimes all it takes is bit of bad luck. Take your time to give them that bit of change. Acknowledge them, a simple hello can brighten up some-one’s day. Or sit there and chat to them or simply listen. People take for granted what a simple smile or an ear to listen can do. It means a lot.

I saw a guy not long back in Sheffield and what he said stuck with me. ‘It could be you!!!’

Thanks again for reading.

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