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2019 INSP Awards: A record number of entries

We received a record number of entries for the 2019 INSP Awards – with an impressive total of 365 submissions from 54 street papers in 28 countries.

Going Dutch: Netherlands-based street papers launch new collaboration STOEP

Three Dutch street papers – Amsterdam’s Z!, Utrecht’s Straatnieuws, and Haags Straatnieuws in The Hague – have joined forces to create shared content in each of their publications. The eight-page section, titled STOEP, is just the latest move towards regional collaboration within the street paper network.

Our vendors: Nondumiso Zigana (The Big Issue South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa)

Life hasn’t been smooth sailing for Nondumiso Zigana, a Big Issue South Africa vendor, but that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her heart’s desires. She shares her journey of being an unemployed widow to being a mother of intellectuals.

Serbian street paper Liceulice launches biannual English language magazine, Belgrade Less Ordinary

Serbian street paper Liceulice is launching a sister magazine, published in English, which is billed as an “extraordinary, socially responsible, activist guide for the guests of Belgrade and Serbia”. Belgrade Less Ordinary will be released twice a year with the proceeds going to Liceulice projects and, ultimately, its vendors.

Curbside vendors Mark and Rene tie the knot

Curbside Chronicle vendors Mark and Rene got married last year, and now the Oklahoma City street paper wants to share what everyone missed from their wedding. Here’s the recap featuring everything from wedding cupcakes to the first dance.

Sick with nowhere to go

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. In this instalment, vendors describe how a common cold can potentially turn into a life threatening illness when they have nowhere to go to recuperate while sick.

Surviving the cold

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. In this instalment, vendors talk about how they get through Portland winters on the streets, sometimes having to resort to novel, and in some cases dangerous, ideas.

Our vendors: Ronny (Zeitschrift der Strasse, Bremen, Germany)

On a walk around Bremen, Ronny talks about his life and experiences as a Zeitscrift der Strasse vendor. He talks about his past, his work as a vendor and about the two wishes that he hopes to make into a reality. It is vital, he says, to look after yourself so that you can savour the little joys in life.

Vendor City Guide: Melbourne

The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. Here, The Big Issue Australia vendor Mark talks about Melbourne.

Vendor City Guide: Ljubljana

The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. Here, Kralji Ulice vendor Špela talks about Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Pay It Forward: The Big Issue’s newest initiative helps vendors earn more with reader resale

The Big Issue partners with digital bank Monzo to create a new revenue stream for vendors: every reader has the opportunity to resell the magazine.

Our vendors: Gamal (The Big Issue Australia, Melbourne, Australia)

Gamal grew up in Egypt and came to Melbourne after his brother sponsored his move to Australia in 1987. Here, he reflects on his early life, talks about the challenges that he faced after moving to a new country and acknowledges the difference that being a Big Issue vendor has made to his life.

Vendor City Guide: Memphis

The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. Here, The Bridge vendor Tony talks about Memphis.

Vendor City Guide: Philadelphia

The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. Here, One Step Away vendor Sylvia talks about Philadelphia.

Our vendors: Mei-hung Sung (The Big Issue Taiwan, Tainan, Taiwan)

Mei-hung is a Big Issue Taiwan vendor on Guohua Street in Tainan. She speaks about her work in a variety of jobs, the illnesses that have stopped her from finding steady work and the kindness of strangers that makes her life easier.

Street papers from across East Asia and Australia get together for INSP’s first Asia-Pacific regional meeting

Staff from four Big Issue titles based in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia got together in Osaka for INSP’s first Asia-Pacific regional meeting, to talk and learn more about the unique problems facing each of them and the innovative projects they are involved in.

Our vendors: Tokuchika Nishi (The Big Issue Japan, Tokyo, Japan)

Tokuchika Nishi has lived an interesting life. The now Big Issue Japan vendor talks us through growing up in Kyushu, studying, joining the army and taking part in disaster relief, and finally returning to Tokyo where he became homeless. He also talks of his love of dance and joining the Newcomer “H” Sokerissa performance group.

Scottish school pupils collaborate with The Big Issue to create, and sell, a special edition of the street paper

The Big Issue has teamed up with the Social Enterprise Academy bringing together pupils from Scottish schools to put together a special edition of the street paper. The magazine, which gave the young people a platform to raise awareness about the social issues they care most about, is now being sold by the kids at their respective schools, and has been included as a supplement in the current edition being sold by vendors.

Liceulice vendors write letters to their younger selves

In what has become a go-to style of article across street papers, Serbia’s Liceulice asked its vendors to think about what they would say to themselves when they were young – if they had the opportunity.

Dreaming of a better tomorrow: Big Issue Korea vendor has book published

Sangcheol Im is a Big Issue Korea vendor who, after 18 years of experiencing homelessness, found the itch to write and tell his story. After writing 52 letters, which he gave out to his interested customers, the writings have been collated and published as a book. The Big Issue Korea spoke to him about this journey.

Our vendors: Magdalena (Augustin, Baden, Austria)

Magdalena moved to Austria from her home in Romania to sell Augustin. Her employment prospects back in her home country are slim. She spoke to the street paper about the obstacles keeping her from staying in Pitești with her family, as well as acclimating to Austrian food.

The pain, cost and stigma of parasites from living on the streets

Portland’s Street Roots has started a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. In this instalment, now shared with INSP, vendors describe their experiences of picking up parasites and bugs, such as head lice and scabies, mainly at hostels and shelters, and the effect it has on an already difficult way of living.

Eleven rooms for women in need at Nuremberg’s Haus Sonnenschein

This International Women’s Day, INSP is drawing attention to some articles from street papers which focus on the experiences of homeless and marginalised women. Strassenkrezuer recently featured a story on ‘Haus Sonnenschein’ (‘House of Sunshine’), a shelter for women who have nowhere else to go, and the only one exclusively for women in Nuremberg.

The “hidden homelessness” of women on the streets

This International Women’s Day, INSP is sharing stories from street papers that highlight the experiences of homeless women. Women are less likely to end up sleeping rough than men. They are more likely to receive help, and may have better support networks. But they are also more vulnerable on the streets. Swizz street paper Surprise looks at some of the reasons why women are less likely to be expected to end up on the streets.

A style all his own: Street Sense vendor Franklin Sterling on his poetry

Writing poems since he was a teenager, Street Sense Media artist and vendor Franklin Sterling has developed a unique style based in medieval English and blending other languages to create something all his own.

INSP launches North American Bureau to give regional support to street papers in the US, Canada and Mexico

INSP has launched a new initiative to help support street paper members situated in the US, Canada and Mexico. The North American Bureau will be led by the former executive director of Street Roots and backed by Seattle street paper Real Change.

Feeling the Love: A look at February’s street paper covers

Some LOVEly covers have caught our eye this month – here’s our February round-up of front pages.

Our vendors: Naofumi Mima (The Big Issue Japan, Osaka, Japan)

There were days in the past when Naofumi Mima thought, “I’ve had it for today” and left. Selling The Big Issue is something that he hasn’t always found easy, particularly when he was faced with low sales. After some time away from being a vendor, he’s now back at work. Mima knows that for every bad thing that happens, something good might happen, too. He credits this attitude with bringing about an increase in his sales!