In just two weeks’ time the 2018 INSP Awards will be taking place, and in the run-up to the main event we’re announcing the Finalists in each category. Today: the Top 5 entries in Best Vendor Contribution.
This award recognises the top contribution to a street paper by current or former street paper vendors. It can be a written piece, photography or art, as long as it has been published in the street paper. You can see the entries that were nominated back in June here.
Our shortlisting panel have narrowed down the Nominees to give us Finalists in each category, who now go forward to the main judging panel to select the winners.
Winners are revealed during the INSP Awards Ceremony held as part of the Global Street Paper Summit in Glasgow, on Wednesday 22 August.
Read on to discover the Vendor Contributions that have made it as Finalists for 2018…
1. Hus Forbi, Denmark
There is a need for a holistic approach
By Jacob Vang Jacobsen
Hus Forbi said: Vendor Jacob Vang Jacobsen interviewed the Parliamentary speaker on social politics, Carl Holst, at the annual ‘People’s meeting’ at Bornholm – a meeting where the politicians are supposed to meet the people. Our vendors were active and campaigning at the meeting together with the Danish organisation for the homeless. The politician asked Jacob for an interview as part of a project run by a Danish daily. When Hus Forbi’s editor heard this, he said to Jacob: “Do it the other way around. Go interview him!” Jacob didn’t get hold of the politician while the editor was present. But he did it of his own accord the next day, recorded the interview and send it to the editor. It was so well composed that it could be transcribed, an introduction added, and sent directly to print without further editing. The interview was nominated for the Best Vendor Contribution award because: 1) Jacob worked totally on his own interviewing a top politician (Carl Holst is the former Minister for Defence and former Mayor of the Region of Southern Denmark. He is the social parliamentary speaker for the Liberal Party [the Prime Minister’s party]). 2) He uses his own experience and never lets the politician off the hook. 3) It has had a political impact because the politician learned something. He has seen the world from a homeless addict’s perspective and his policy-making has become more qualified.
2. L’Itinéraire, Canada
Conversation With A Paedophile
By Jo Redwitch
L’Itinéraire said: Jo Redwitch has been a vendor since 2015. Actively involved in the magazine, she was part of a small group of vendors who completed an internship at La Presse, Montréal’s most respected daily. Jo’s a news-getter and has a keen sense for human interest stories. She landed a oneon-one interview with a convicted paedophile through the Support and Accountability Circle, offered to sex offenders in a Québec jail. Using a direct and frank approach, Jo delves into the psyche of a repentant child abuser. Her account of such a troubling subject is well-balanced between empathy and critical distance. Rigorously researched, the first part asks: “Are paedophiles salvageable?”. The second part, entitled “Act before it’s too late”, talks about early detection to treat and prevent lifelong damages to young victims. Very powerful – and exclusive – articles. Journalism at its best!
3. Speak Up, USA
One Week on the Streets
By Vince Shumate
Speak Up said: Vince Shumate is homeless and wandering. In the last year, he has been in Charlotte (where Speak Up is based), in Virginia, in Florida, and elsewhere. Currently he is in Asheville, NC, where he sometimes sells magazines as a very long-distance independent vendor. He has been connected with Speak Up in various ways since 2016. In late February 2018, he took daily notes and photographs for one week. He delivered the words and photos to Speak Up as a single submission, which were published in entirety in early March as the issue “One Week on the Streets”. In “One Week on the Streets,” all of the words and every photograph is Vince’s own. He writes and shares deeply; his battles with homelessness, ongoing struggle with addiction, and deep wounds from the past all make it into his writings. He writes about jail, about rehab, about the “slippery slope” of alcohol’s lure. As you see from the selfie photo on the first page, Vince is worn and weathered and rough. His writing is thoughtful, honest, self-effacing, funny and humanising. Vince is one of Speak Up’s most beloved authors and this particular issue was a privilege to publish.
4. Street Sense, USA
Random acts of kindness, reggae style
By Wendell Williams
Street Sense said: This essay and the accompanying photos were contributed by vendor Wendell Williams to recap a recent visit to Jamaica that some of his supporters helped him make. This was the fourth instalment of the “Random Acts of Kindness” series he started writing, shortly after, during a vendor profile interview, he recalled the many random acts of kindness that helped him get to where he is today. This column has a couple signature acts of kindness, but it also touches on the history, culture and landscape of his destination. Several volunteers that regularly help around our office praised this article. One said it was the best piece he’d read in Street Sense all year.
5. Toledo Streets, USA
Former Marine wrestles with a new Enemy: Silence
By Rex Davis
Toledo Streets said: One of our vendor-writers, Rex Davis, submitted this piece on dealing with PTSD after serving in the military and fighting in Iraq. Rex continues to struggle in the civilian world and is currently awaiting sentencing on an arson charge in the Lucas County court.