My London – Reflections from the homeless

First published on on 10 March 2017.

Students from The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s have put their studies into perspective and considered the role they may play in society by curating a special exhibition featuring images taken by people affected by homelessness.

Housed within the university’s Somerset House East Wing and open to visitors until September 2017, MyLondon is an ongoing collaboration between the Law School and the charity Cafe Art, which aims to give people affected by homelessness a creative outlet in an exchange that is predicated on a productive engagement with society.

“A lot of these photos show that homeless people are essentially excluded from the legal system,” said, Martin Wagner, a first year LLB student & a member of the exhibition team.

According to a recent government study, rough sleeping has gone up by 37% in London since 2010. The student curators of the exhibition have used the experience to develop interpretations that explore the various ways photography, the urban environment and law might be able to aid our understanding of homelessness and the issue’s visibility.

“Symbolic of what we are trying to do with the project – connecting people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art and photography. These connections help everyone: the photographers gain experience and self-esteem and the community learns more about the issue of homelessness.” Paul Ryan, Café Art Director

Over the last four years, Cafe Art has held a photography competition for their affiliates, providing a photography class and disposable cameras before sending competitors off into London to take their shots. Selected photographs comprise the MyLondon calendars that are sold to raise money for Cafe Art’s work.

For more information about studying Law at King’s College London, please visit the school’s information page. The London Office thanks the Dickson Poon School of Law, Cafe Art and the MyLondon project team for this article.

Images: Banksy’s Dalmatian by Saffron Said, Now What by Laz Ozerdan, Peeking Out by Jackie Cook and Watching Mannequins by Keith Norris.

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