Street paper vendors experience homelessness, poverty and marginalisation, so they face multiple barriers in having their voices heard. INSP is delighted that our network of street papers provides such a powerful platform for the creative and journalistic output of thousands of them worldwide.
The finalists competing to win Best Vendor Contribution at this year’s INSP Awards have shared their opinions and experiences to powerful effect – proving that their writing has every right to be read.
Due to the consistently high standard of entries, this diverse category is always a tough one judge. With that in mind, our international editorial panel has allowed six finalists (rather than the usual five) to go through.
Check out our other INSP Awards finalists here.
Groundcover News, USA
Living “Out Here”
By Elizabeth ‘Lit’ Kurtz
In this moving article, Groundcover vendor Lit explains what she means when she says she lives “out here”. She discusses what she’s lost – and what she’s gained – through her experience of homelessness. The judges enjoyed her great poetic style and praised her honest, raw and philosophical account.
Hus Forbi, Denmark
“Take off your shoes and come inside”
By Henrik Pederson
During the INSP Global Street Paper Summit 2015 in Seattle, Henrik Pedersen, who sells Hus Forbi in Copenhagen, met Sharon Jones, a vendor for Seattle street paper Real Change to discuss the challenges and rewards of selling street papers. The interview is a great example of street papers coming together and sharing, it highlighted similarities and differences between street papers.
Speak Up, USA
Requiem for a Lost Generation
By Dustin Lapres
Some of our judges admitted they had tears in their eyes after reading Dustin Lapres’ beautiful tribute to his friends who have died whilst homeless. Nominated in this category for the second year in a row, Dustin is open about his vulnerability as he “pays homage to some of the old school hobos who taught me as a young man to survive and thrive on the street.”
Street Sense, USA
No Room at the Airport
By Anonymous, The Anti-apathetic and Shernell Thomas
This fascinating insider account captures the last days of a dying era in the US, when homeless people could find shelter in airport waiting areas. Street Sense vendors worked together to produce a series of essays, photography and artwork, which has now become a model for collaborative projects at the street paper.
The Big Issue Australia
By Julian Ogle
Julian Ogle was terrified by the prospect of going to jail. His experience was indeed scary… but not in the ways he had anticipated. His incredibly interesting account is gripping and was commended for its clever story telling approach. The judges felt that it was a tale that street papers are uniquely placed to tell.
The Curbside Chronicle, USA
How I See OKC: A look into the lives of Oklahoma City’s homeless
By Robert Hatcher
How I See OKC is a photography project that The Curbside Chronicle runs once a year, in which they partner vendors with photographers and ask them to take photos that capture various aspects of their lives. Robert’s article about why he participated in the photo project and his curated selection of photos was commended for being a great use of the medium.