Helping readers get to know our vendors is a big motivator for putting together street papers. For this story, The Curbside Chronicle asked vendors to document a week’s worth of meals with a food diary, curious to know more about what vendors are eating. They photographed a single day of meals from several participants. The results were mixed — everything from multiple visits to soup kitchens to eating nothing at all. But one thing was clear, most vendors experience significant food insecurity. Hopefully this piece helps illustrate how poverty affects people and what they eat every day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
As vendors of South Tyrolean street paper zebra. congregated for their annual meeting, on this occasion celebrating the publication’s fifth birthday, some left with a bad taste in their mouths. This is due to the new controversial amendment to the asylum law by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini which directly affects some zebra. vendors, leaving them in a concerning position.
With the 91st Academy Awards set to be broadcast on Sunday, Chicago’s StreetWise asked its vendors to view all eight movies nominated in the ‘Best Picture’ category and share their thoughts.
Norbert has sold street papers all over the UK and has settled into a new rhythm of life since moving to York two and a half years ago. He’s happy to work in a city where magazine vendors support each other and is hoping to establish a permanent pitch outside York train station. Norbert is also passionate about campaigning on issues affecting the homeless and runs the Homeless Britain Facebook page in addition to his work as a vendor.
Last year, Swedish street paper Faktum wrote about two of its Malmö-based vendors, Birgitta and Vincent, who had decided that they would have a Las Vegas wedding. It was a portrait of two people, together for 37 years, who love each other deeply. They spoke about their relationship, their work as vendors and their excitement about their imminent nuptials.
Today is Valentine’s Day, so we’re sharing vendor stories of love, sex and romance. Norma and Lazaro have had difficult lives separately, but since meeting, they have been together, and life isn’t so unbearable anymore. Now selling the Brazilian street paper Aurora da Ru, the couple talk about their hardships, how they met and their seemingly inevitable marriage.
After finding it difficult to find employment after returning to Milan following a 15-year absence and entering her 60s, Anna was introduced to Scarp de’ tenis by Caritas. She now works as a magazine vendor and is touched by the solidarity that those around her demonstrate when they buy copies of the magazine from her.
If someone asked you to photograph your “happy place”, what would you choose? To celebrate #VendorWeek, The Big Issue Australia asked eleven vendors from around the country take on the challenge.