On Monday, December 5th, 100 people affected by homelessness in Greenville received disposable cameras with one task: to tell their stories. The Artist Guild Gallery is proud to exhibit these stories during the month of January and invites the public to a special reception on Friday, January 6th from 6 – 8 pm.
Jason Williamson, missions pastor at The Mill in Moore, S.C. is spearheading the sequel to the inaugual Through Our Eyes project, which took place in Spartanburg, S.C., May through July 2016.
The effort earlier this year to shine a light on homelessness in Spartanburg drew the attention of media outlets around the world, including the Huffington Post and UpWorthy and raised over $5000 for 5 charities in the Spartanburg area.
Williamson, with the help of David Street Baptist Church canvased areas affected by homelessness in Greenville in order to find participants for Greenville’s iteration of the project. Each participant became a photographer for a week. Photographers each received a disposable FujiFilm QuickSnap camera and a project t-shirt, boldly stating “PHOTOGRAPHER” on the back. The assignment was simple: photograph what your life looks like – where you go, what you see, the places you eat, who you spend time with – and return the camera at the end of the week.
One hundred people affected by homelessness in Greenville, SC received a disposable camera with one task – to tell their story. Each photographer had the opportunity to share a piece of their life with the people around them. It’s what they see. It’s who they spend time with. It’s what they eat. It’s where they go. These photographers may be homeless, but they do not have to be hopeless, nameless or voiceless. This was their chance to tell the community what it’s like to live on the street.
Spartan Photo developed the film from each camera and printed the photos. A group of judges from the Greenville community carefully considered each photo for quality, composition, subect matter and storytelling, eventually narrowing the field to the top 20 photos. The top 20 photos were enlarged, framed and will be on display during this month-long exhibition at the Artist Guild Gallery.
There will be prizes provided for the top three winners. Prizes will be constructive and personalized, based on the winner’s needs/requests.
“We’ve come to realize that those affected by homelessness don’t all have the same experience,” said Williamson. “One person might need some warm clothing for winter. Someone else might need new clothes for a job interview. Another might want to use the prize money to buy a gift for a family member. We are going to leave the final decisions up to the winners.”
Williamson said,”These photographers may be homeless, but they do not have to be hopeless, nameless or voiceless.”
For more information, visit www.throughoureyesproject.com.