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Your SW1 Photostory: Inspired by Slovenia Photo Competition

By Sarah Mann

In October 2016 the London-based Clear Village project Small Works, in partnership with the Museum of Homelessness, curated a memorable photo exhibition called “Your SW1 Photostory.”

Inspired by the Slovenia photo competition “Photo-Story of our Neighbourhood“, our group worked with residents of Vauxhall Estate in Westminster, London. Residents were given disposable cameras and for two weeks set out to document their neighbourhood in SW1 according to the criteria of the Slovenia competition.

a.) most pleasant place in my neighbourhood
b.) professions in my neighbourhood
c.) my neighbour
d.) borders of my neighbourhood
e.) shared values in my neighbourhood

Once the film was developed we had a mountain of photographs! From here the Museum of Homelessness helped residents organise the photos and develop their narrative. What started as a fun activity to connect with residents and participate in a Human Cities project – quickly became an important conversation about how the neighbour has changed in just the last 10 years.

Our photo submissions didn’t win the photo competition but by the end of the workshops we had gained incredible insight into our neighbourhood and the people who call it home… as displayed in a few of our examples below.

Generations of families used to live on the same estate. Now, it's different. The children don't play out so much anymore and the spaces for kids are underused. - Darlene (Vauxhall Estate resident)

Generations of families used to live on the same estate. Now, it’s different. The children don’t play out so much anymore and the spaces for kids are underused. – Darlene (Vauxhall Estate resident)

Lillington Gardens used to be really vibrant. The original designs included everything you needed, but the spaces which brought the community together - doctor's surgery, library, laundry - have all but disappeared. - Darlene (Vauxhall Estate resident)

Lillington Gardens used to be really vibrant. The original designs included everything you needed, but the spaces which brought the community together – doctor’s surgery, library, laundry – have all but disappeared. – Darlene (Vauxhall Estate resident)

I would take my son to nursery past this building. At the time I was studying level 1 and level 2 in childcare, these were very good times. I used to listen to the news to improve my English. Channel 4 news at 7 is still my favourite. - Mariam (Vauxhall Estate resident)

I would take my son to nursery past this building. At the time I was studying level 1 and level 2 in childcare, these were very good times. I used to listen to the news to improve my English. Channel 4 news at 7 is still my favourite. – Mariam (Vauxhall Estate resident)

Millbank is a place of divide for me. My children would ant to go here after school, but I wanted to go home and feed them a nice homemade dinner! - Mariam (Vauxhall Estate resident)

Millbank is a place of divide for me. My children would ant to go here after school, but I wanted to go home and feed them a nice homemade dinner! – Mariam (Vauxhall Estate resident)

 

Small Works is a project in partnership with Clear Village and CIVA; it’s a social enterprise hub that provides affordable desk space in central London in exchange for community support & services delivered directly by our dedicated members.

Museum of Homelessness is a Small Works member and the first of its kind in the UK. Museum of Homelessness engages the public through collecting, research, events and exhibitions. The museum is being developed by people from all walks of life, including those who have been homeless.

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