As the Olympics come to Tokyo, Big Issue Japan vendors share their thoughts on the event and sporting memories

This year’s Olympics arrives in Tokyo despite an ongoing pandemic and outrage from some of the city’s residents. Often those at the fringes of society are forgotten about when mammoth sporting events like this begin. The Big Issue Japan asked some of its vendors to share their thoughts on the approaching games and also their own personal sporting memories and achievements.

“Scotland does not identify with its Blackness”: Soul musician and activist Joseph Malik channels Scotland’s Black voices

Joseph Malik spoke at the head of Black Lives Matter protests in Edinburgh last year as people marched against systemic racism. Since, the formerly homeless singer has had a stroke and made an album that filters the rage of Scotland’s Black community into soulful music.

How do you say “S-h-e-d-i-a” in English? Greek street paper publishes first English edition

Sea, sun, fun and solidarity. Shedia’s new venture, the summer English-edition of the Greek street paper, is hitting the streets of Athens, offering – among other things – visitors a unique guide to responsible tourism in Greece.

Street Roots vendor Chris Drake: “Treat me like any other man”

Portland street paper vendor Chris Drake discusses misconceptions about trans people and what visibility means to him.

Europe Day: Solidarity in a time of separation

9 May marks the anniversary of a speech by Robert Schuman, a French statesman who was one of the founders of what we recognise today as Europe, where he called for solidarity across borders. In this time of political division, and one even more divided by pandemic-imposed lockdowns, remembering this helps highlight efforts and achievements across Europe which contribute to making it a more inclusive, more democratic, more culturally aware, better place to live. The European Cultural Foundation is hoping to turn 9 May – what it’s billed as Europe Day – into a continent-wide holiday of togetherness. Few groups represent this kind of cohesion and unity as the street paper network.

Nový Prostor vendor Dagmar: “I’m proud to still be self-sufficient”

Nový Prostor has a recurring feature where vendors talk about their pitch allows readers to discover the hidden stories of the places you pass by every day. Here, vendor Dagmar shares her experience of selling between the Lužiny and Luka metro stations in Prague and her life as a woman on the street.

#LookTalkAct: Hungarian street paper Fedél Nélkül launches campaign to transform how homelessness is portrayed and perceived

Hungary’s street paper Fedél Nélkül has launched a campaign, in collaboration with other international organisations, that seeks to change the way homelessness and people on the street are visually portrayed. Bemoaning negatively charged images often used in the media to illustrate homelessness, the #LookTalkAct project will create 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.

“Better for vendors, as well as for customers”: Washington DC’s Street Sense goes weekly

Despite the uncertainty caused by pandemic lockdowns, Street Sense has made progress and is now going weekly. Located in the US capital, Street Sense Media will start publishing street papers every week starting today (14 April). This increase in frequency is also predicted to attract more vendors and increase their weekly earnings. Testimonials from vendors and INSP show excitement and anticipation for this growth in the street paper.

“Nobody should go without the shot”: Dispatches from vaccinated street paper vendors

With Covid vaccines being rolled out differently across the world, that means marginalised and vulnerable communities in different parts of the world are receiving immunisation at different rates. But it does mean some good news: street paper vendors are beginning to receive the jab, and with the world opening up again, that’s more than welcome.

“Housing is a basic human need”: The US Government needs to address the housing crisis

Brook Fadley discusses the lack of safe and accessible housing infrastructure in her op-ed, the last in a series in collaboration with housing advocacy group Community Change. She writes that many people are vulnerable to homelessness due to the pandemic and the government needs to step up to solve it, urging the Biden Administration to pass the New Deal for Housing Justice.

Proper housing means having a home for your family

Idalia Rios discusses the definition of homelessness in this op-ed, the latest in a series in collaboration with housing advocacy group Community Change. To this immigrant mother, you can be homeless even if you have a roof over your head. She writes how proper housing, a foundation for a family, is a home. She urges the community to take action and to step into someone else’s shoes to provide more people with real homes.

“The government should be the helping hand because we are just starting off on our own”: US college students battle basic needs insecurity

Three in five college students in the United States faced problems like housing insecurity or hunger in 2020. Despite their effort to receive a higher education, many students are neglected by their institutions and the government in terms of basic needs. Strides are being made across the US by students and nonprofits to combat these issues.