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.
Portland street paper vendor Chris Drake discusses misconceptions about trans people and what visibility means to him.
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.
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.
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.
Songs we love: Curbside Chronicle vendors shout out the tunes they hold close alongside top-tier musicians
Who doesn’t have a song that’s made a special impact on their life? The Curbside Chronicle reached out to musicians from across the US, as well as a few of their own street paper vendors, to weigh in on the tracks that have changed the way they look at the world.
Vendors from The Big Issue Australia were tasked with writing letters of advice and wisdom to their younger selves in a twist on the long-running street paper feature.
Jamie Hӓnni, 23, collaborated with Swiss street paper Surprise for a one-shot five-minute film that showcases the unique stories of four individuals who sell the magazine.
Trump’s rallies and actions in general have caused havoc to those living on the streets of Washington DC, whether it’s setting police and national guard troops on peaceful protestors last summer, or inciting riots at a rally last week as the US Senate moved to validate the election of Joe Biden as the next President. Vendors reflect on the chaos caused.
“I’ll always be able to put food on the table”: Hecho en Bs As vendor Ricardo Blanco reflects on street paper’s role in his life
39-year-old Ricardo Blanco has been an on-and-off vendor for Hecho en Bs As (HBA) since 2003. He reflects on his life so far, and how working for HBA has helped him feel more confident in being able to provide for his family. Blanco is most proud of his family that includes his wife and his four children and grandchild, and the home that he’s been able to build.
For society’s most vulnerable and marginalised, 2020 – and the pandemic that has defined it – has exacerbated problems already familiar to them: food security, unstable housing, social isolation, income, and access to social services as they are weakened at a time they’re needed most. Street papers, which exist to alleviate that strain, have been impacted too. It’s been hard, but the effects they’ve felt have not been uniform. As the new year approaches, INSP checked in with street paper vendors of differing circumstances across the world to reflect on these past months and to look forward with some hope.
The Big Issue Taiwan is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. It hasn’t exactly been the most ideal celebration. But Kuen-hua Shiu (Hua for short) first became a magazine vendor back in March 2010, returned to his work with the magazine in November 2019, and is still going even as COVID-19 has affected sales. You’ll find him in the pedestrian arcade at Dingxi Station in New Taipei City sitting on his mobility scooter, wearing his orange vendor’s vest and waiting to greet his customers.
Vendors in Kikinda, Serbia have taken a hit to their ability to sell the street paper Liceulice due to the COVID-19 restrictions in their city. Svetlana Kalinov shone during the height of the lockdown restrictions by selflessly encouraging a cohort of her vendor colleagues to donate their savings from selling the magazine to those struggling in the town of Novi Sad. She has also found herself helping out at a local day care centre. Liceulice, she says, makes her feel useful in a world where that connection has often evaded her.
Teresa Ng has been a Megaphone vendor for around eight years and usually sells the magazine from her pitch near East Hastings and Nanaimo Streets in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. She has kept herself busy during the pandemic but has been distressed by the racial abuse she has suffered as a result of her ethnicity. She is looking forward to returning to her work as a vendor. Dennis Chernyk has been a vendor for nearly two years and his pitch is near West Hastings and Granville Streets. In addition to his work with the street paper, Dennis enjoys writing, drawing, gardening, cooking, and spending time with his black short-haired cat Co-co. But, as Dennis tells us, not everyone is as enamoured with cats as he is.
Will, a Big Issue North vendor in Doncaster, writes lyrically about how a customer and now friend of his, photographer Andy Lynch, was there for him at his lowest ebb.
The lives of millions of people around the world were transformed when countries shut down in an attempt to halt the spread of coronavirus. For Big Issue vendor Mark, who is based in Adelaide, Australia, lockdown was spent fending off boredom, watching TV, talking to friends and family on the phone and dealing with… pigeons.
King County, home to Seattle’s Real Change, was a key area in the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, some normality is returning for its street paper vendors. Here are some of their stories.
The UK was a little behind the rest of Europe in seeing street paper vendors return to their pitches. Equipped with full PPE and contactless payment systems, those in northern England selling Big Issue North were both nervous and excited.
In this article, The Contributor catches up with several of its street paper vendors to find out how their lives and sales have been affected since COVID-19 hit. Although The Contributor has been able to continue printing physical copies of the paper during the pandemic, its vendors have had to adapt in order to maintain both their sales and their relationships with customers in a way that is safe for everyone.
After the coronavirus lockdown eased, Hinz&Kunzt vendors were looking forward to the restart, but also feeling slightly uneasy. They’ll need help – from Hinz&Kunzt, but also from the people working in the shops outside which they have their pitches. The Hamburg street paper accompanied vendor Thomas to his pitch.
Two Surprise vendors – Sandra and Ghide – speak about how the coronavirus lockdown has affected their way of life. For both, not being able to sell the magazine has been a disruption. But it also picks at other parts – the ability to stay to routine, and the manageability of employing coping mechanisms for health issues that are difficult to deal with at the best of times. Since these interviews, Surprise vendors, like many street papers in Europe, have gradually begun to return to work.
“I see myself as an astronaut far above the earth” – Hinz&Kunzt vendors on how COVID-19 has changed their lives
During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Hamburg-based street paper Hinz&Kunzt asked its vendors how severely they have been impacted by its effects.
Now that the world has stopped spinning as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a great time to take a moment to meet a few un-fur-gettable vendor pets and hear about their amazing impact. Pets are a huge part of Curbside Chronicle vendors’ lives and they actively brighten even their most difficult days. We hope you’re also finding comfort in your furry friends as you practice social distancing!
We check in with vendors at Chicago-based street paper StreetWise as coronavirus has made it impossible for most of them to sell the magazine on the streets.
US street paper vendors on being denied voting rights as former felons when the democratic process is more important than ever
Coronavirus has even upended democracy. In a recent Wisconsin Democratic Primary vote, very little accommodation was made to ensure people could get out to vote, and do so safely. It’s a worry ahead of an important Presidential election set for later this year. If the current circumstances continue, the situation may end up actively stopping people from voting. But the US already has all sorts of different restrictions hampering the ability of its citizens to vote. Two Contributor vendors explain how their past felony charges bar them from exercising the franchise.
With The Big Issue no longer able to have its vendors sell the magazine on the street, the great majority have seen their usual way of earning an income vanish overnight. Here, they describe how the coronavirus lockdown is going to affect them.