Hungarian street paper Fedél Nélkül has launched a campaign seeking to change the way homelessness and people on the street are visually portrayed. The project will result in the creation of an open source, free online collection of art and photos which will improve the visual appearance of publications covering homelessness, journalists, non-governmental organizations and activists.
Named #LookTalkAct, and launched across four countries (Hungary, Germany, Slovakia and Spain) as part of the Erasmus+ initiative ‘HomelessTalk: Let’s Talk About Homelessness: Learning as a Tool for Social Integration of Homeless People’ and in collaboration with Fedél Nélkül publisher Menhely Alapítvány, the campaign asks for submissions from “amateur and professional artists who would like to create an art piece, with a social and positive perspective, to help us transform the image of people sleeping on the streets”. The call is open to homeless, ex-homeless and non-homeless people alike.
All art submitted, from visual art to photography and graphic design, will be included in the free-to-use digital collection under the Creative Commons license, while standout selections will be included in a collection which will be compiled in an art book and shown at planned exhibitions in various European cities. These will be chosen by a group of judges, which includes Fedél Nélkül’s social worker and art director Réka Szenográdi.
The impetus for the project comes from the prevalence of negatively charged images of homelessness used in the media when illustrating articles. “Even a text with a positive message can be turned into a negative impression by a poorly chosen image,” goes the campaign callout.
Talking about the campaign, Fedél Nélkül editor-in-chief Róbert Kepe told INSP he hopes sharing news of the idea with fellow street papers will be met with solidarity and an even better response.
He said: “We consider it very important that the visual content of homelessness publications does not destroy the written message of the publication. We often come across very low quality images with very bad messages that reinforce prejudices. We are very confident that a free-to-use archive that contains numerous images can help with this problem. We ask the help of our street paper publishing friends to forward our call to their distributors, readers and supporters, especially those who feel confident in creating art.”
The call for submissions is open until 31 May.
Read more about the campaign at looktalkact.com
Submit to the campaign here.