‘Stories of the Streets’ has popped up in the Arndale, showcasing over 250 photos taken by those sleeping rough

Do you see the homeless people in Manchester? Because they see you…and a lot more besides. That’s the premise of Stories of the Streets, which has popped up at Manchester Arndale until Sunday 22 July.

The exhibition showcases over 250 photographs taken by the city’s homeless (specifically those sleeping rough), which are also available to purchase. Each print costs £25, with £10 from each sale being invested in essential items for its photographer via local charities Barnabus, Lifeshare and Big Issue North.

Remaining proceeds will go back into People of the Streets (POTs), the social enterprise behind the exhibition. Founded by students at university in Nottingham - which hosted the first Stories of the Streets exhibition last year - the group now comprises six students and recent graduates, and is supported by the Big Lottery Fund alongside various corporate partners. Directing POTS is Bury-born Alex Greenhalgh, 22, who is now bringing the project to his home city. 

Stories Of The Streets
POTS worked with Barnabus, Lifeshare and Big Issue North to distribute disposable cameras amongst the homeless

Greenhalgh said: “We set up the project in 2017 in response to the rapid increase in homelessness across the UK. We really believe that on going public conversation is needed to help change perceptions, keep the issue front of mind, and encourage new ideas to help tackle the problem. 

“The simple act of discussing the issue with a friend over coffee, and listening to a different perspective through the exhibition, can support this wider conversation and at the same time we hope to raise vital funds for the local photographers involved.”

2018 07 16 The Waiting Dog Tommy Carr
The Waiting Dog by Tommy Carr People of the Streets
People Of The Streets Exhibition
People of the Streets Instagram

Stories of the Streets isn’t the only arty pop-up capturing the city. Throughout July and August, the Corn Exchange will be hosting a portrait of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, made up of over 1500 photos of Manchester. All taken on 1 April 2017, these were part of a 24-hour social experiment called A Day in the Life, in which Mancunians took to the streets to capture a day in the city’s history. 

Spanning shopping to street art, architecture to events, the photos were then used by artist Nathan Wyburn to create the mosaic of Pankhurst, who came top in a public poll on who the artwork should commemorate. 

As the centenary of women’s votes, 2018 will also see a statue of Pankhurst unveiled this December on St Peter’s Square; the stone meeting circle on which she will stand was unveiled yesterday, her 160th birthday, with suffragette motto ‘Deeds Not Words’ and ‘Rise Up, Women’ - her famous rallying cry.

2018 07 15 A Day In The Life Project Emmeline Pankhurst
The portrait of Emmeline Pankhurst, courtesy of 'A Day in the Life'

Main images: The Invisible Man by Kieran McCally