Homeless photographers explore what East London means to them

A photograph of East London by Geraldine Crimmins. Pic: Cafe Art

Geraldine Crimmins has enrolled on an art course and volunteers to help homeless people.

Although she now has a roof over her head, she used to be homeless herself until getting involved in a photography project boosted her self confidence. “Photography is therapy,” she says.

Five of her photos feature in a new exhibition of stunning shots of east London by a group of homeless photographers opening at a hotel in Whitechapel.

The photography project run by social enterprise Café Art whose mission is to “connect people affected by homelessness with the wider community through their art”.

Café Art Director, Paul Ryan, who has been working with homeless people for years, says Qbic Hotel in Whitechapel approached him wanting to give the MyLondon photography group a new challenge – to take photos of interesting parts of east London near the hotel.

MyLondon is a separate photography project for people affected by homelessness,  where participants are handed 100 single-use cameras and have five days to take photos of London how they see it.

“They wanted to add a more personal and interesting piece of work created by local artists of the area,” Ryan says.

The Qbic Hotel exhibition will  display the 14 beautiful images of East London from October 2.


Rebecca Waters from Qbic Hotel says: “After a meeting we decided to give the challenge to the photography mentoring group.

“It was a perfect challenge – it was a real job for them. Our goal is to empower people and this has more than achieved that goal,” she adds.

Neil Cordell from The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) says that the Society has been helping the MyLondon calendar project for several years and this type of extra project was perfect to improve their photography skills.

The 14 east London photos will be hanging in Qbic Hotel cafe from Monday October 2. The annual MyLondon exhibition will be also hanging in the hotel on their gallery staircase from that date.

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