People have smoked for many years and now it is socially un acceptable. Once you could go out to the pub for a drink and sit in a purposely-built room (a tap room) and smoke. Since the smoking ban smokers are forced to stand out side on the doorstep or in smoking shelters. Instead of opening up these rooms again just for the smokers.
THE SIMON COMMUNITY
The Simon Community is a project about the homeless from the prospective of the volunteers at the Simon Community. This is a series of portraits of just some of the volunteers, taken at St Josephs house. Many of whom give up their life to help and provide a much needed service to those less fortunate than themselves that sleep on the streets of London. Some of the people I have photographed have at some stage of their life lived on the streets and the Simon Community has helped some. But not all. The volunteers come from all walks of life but everyone is treated the same and spoke to on the same level. No one is treated any different.
Having spent some time living and working with the Simon Community, helping with the early morning tea run and the street café and being there on the day of hospitality, which is when the house is open to the homeless so that they can come in and have a wash, do their washing, have something to eat and socialize with like minded people. It soon became apparent to me the hard work and determination the volunteers put into making these people that LIVE on the streets feel normal. Many of the people that live on our streets have ended up there through no fault of their own. Some have had “normal” lives, good job, wife, and kids, house and then just like that, it has gone. They have lost their job, and then their house, their wife left them then they have a mental break down and can no longer cope with anything so there fore end up on the street. There are many that come from over seas believing are streets are paved with gold but when they arrive there is nothing. No work and nowhere to live. Alone. That is why I decided to photograph them in this way. At the heart of the organization in the front, room with an empty space at the side of them.
The Spirit of Sophie
On the 11th of August 2007 Robert Maltby and Sophie Lancaster where walking home through Stubbylee park, in Bacup, Lancashire. When a gang of youths set about them. The couple where dressed as Goths which immediately struck a nerve with the gang and gave them a reason to attack the couple. Robert was knocked unconscious and while Sophie cradled her boyfriend to protect him, the gang jumped up and down on Sophie’s head. Robert was in a coma for some time but eventually recovered. Unfortunately Sophie Lancaster died of her injury’s. The group of youths was later arrested and charged with murder and grievously bodily harm with intent. The judge said that Maltby and Lancaster where singled out just because of the way they dressed.
This latest project by Jonathan Foulger looks at a whole variety of different subcultures. Foulger’s subjects are depicted in different areas around the streets of Bacup positioned to the right hand side of the frame whilst on the left hand side of the frame there is a ghostly figure of the same person. This is a representation of Sophie Lancaster (The Spirit of Sophie) The aim of the project is to draw attention to the different and diverse styles of subcultures and to show that people who chose to dress differently are not afraid to be seen on our streets. It is also to help raise awareness for hate crimes against sub cultures. Until the incident in Stubbylee park there has been no law for this particular hate crime. Sophie’s mum has been continuously campaigning to get the law changed with some success in Manchester.