For The Big Issue Australia’s #VendorWeek edition, vendors from all over Australia offered words of advice, hard-won wisdom and love to their teenaged selves.
As always, the first week of February sees the street paper network mark #VendorWeek, an annual celebration of those people central to the street paper mission – our vendors!
Each month we bring you a round-up of front pages that have been sold on the streets by our vendors in 35 countries around the world.
Dwd sells Street Roots from a pitch shared with other vendors near the Starbucks at Northwest Couch Street and 11th Avenue in Portland with the help of his trusty canine friend Kephirah. Dwd is enjoying his work as a Street Roots vendor and is learning about photojournalism with the organisation’s help. He hopes to engage with the public about the great work that the paper is doing to support vendors as they work together with the community.
Radomir, 28, sells Surprise at Basel train station in Switzerland. He’s always grappled with life and has stood out since childhood as a result of being different to others. This spirit continues in his adult life and even extends into his work as a Surprise vendor, where he delights customers with his unconventional sales methods that include juggling and dancing.
Benoit Chartier sells L’itinéraire from his pitch at the corner of Bercy Street and Ontario Street East in Montreal. He has been a vendor for 20 years and credits his work with providing him with respite from feelings of isolation by enabling him to meet people and to be part of the wider community. He has a message for both L’itinéraire and his customers: “Bravo!”
As fires continue to burn a path through the Australian bush, claiming lives and homes and displacing communities, those who are homeless have few, if any, options to escape the smoke. Two Big Issue Australia vendors give first-hand accounts of the impact of the devastation.
At the tail end of 2019, to celebrate INSP’s 25th anniversary, we asked vendors across the street paper network to write letters to their 25-year-old selves. We also asked one of the street paper network’s long-time supporters to do the same: Scottish writer Irvine Welsh. Now 61, the following is the typically foul-mouthed and idiosyncratic words Welsh had for his 25-year-old self.
Days before Christmas, communities across the US joined together to memorialise those who had died while homeless that year. INSP North America director Israel Bayer summed up the tragedies that have beset countless homeless Americans, while a group of the country’s street papers collaborated on making sure these remembrances, and the people they were about, were noticed.
Mr. Shiu is a Big Issue Taiwan vendor from Kaohsiung who sells copies of the magazine from his pitch in front of the KFC at the crossroads beside the entrance gate to Kaohsiung Medical University and Shihcyuan Road. He started working with Big Issue Taiwan in May, and Shiu is embracing the prospect of becoming self-reliant through his work.
Elena Onice and Fagaras Banu are originally from Romania and are building a life for their family in Salzburg, Austria. But one family member is missing: their six-month-old daughter, Sara-Elena, is in hospital in Romania as she is disabled and needs additional support. Here, the couple talk about their hopes for the future, what happiness means to them and their hope that they will soon be able to visit their young daughter in Romania.