Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Homeless Library: a catalogue of homeless lives

The Homeless Library will launch at The Southbank, London with an open poetry and book-making workshop.

Homeless people have created a first-person history of British homelessness, exhibiting at The Poetry Library, Southbank 9 July-18 September. It includes individual testimonies, poetry and art written in handmade books, lending insight into experiences of Britain's homeless. Meet the makers and create a handmade book with them, at The Poetry Library on 9 July, 4pm.

A free 200 page ebook, The Homeless Library, including interviews, poems and artworks has been created as a catalogue for the exhibition and can be downloaded here.

Launch date: Saturday 9 July
Time: 4-7pm
Price: Free
Venue: The Poetry Library, Level 5, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

"We tell you stuff because we think we can trust you. Trust is the biggest thing of all, it is the biggest thing I own."

The Homeless Library is lived history, people's descriptions of their own lives, as told by contemporary homeless people. Alongside the interviews, poems and artworks inscribed into handmade books tell an emotional history.

In Britain, the heritage of homelessness is brutally sparse. This is the first shared history of British homelessness. Interviews have been edited and footnoted, by various ‘experts’ including homeless people themselves, who have the greatest expertise. There are also accounts by older people who witnessed homelessness from the 1930s onwards.

These experiences lent to The Homeless Library connect every one of us, after all we share a society. And the tellers have much to offer, because they see as an artist or a philosopher sees. From within and yet outside.

This ebook was launched as part of The Homeless Library exhibition at the Poetry Library, Southbank, London, 9 July-18 September 2016. Project devised and run by arts organisation arthur+martha 2014-16. Supported by The Heritage Lottery.

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