‘I feel that I’ve been heard now. This morning I was invisible. Now someone knows I’m here.’ (Anon, Booth Centre)
A Map of You (2011)
Homeless people in Manchester wrote themselves into the public eye, creating ‘customised’ tourist postcards and Lowry postcards of Manchester and Salford. The postcards were made into billboard-size animations and shown on public screens in Manchester and Liverpool to audiences of 1 million plus.
a map of you postcards carried tiny stories, little snatches of homeless people’s lives. In the white space between the 2-D buildings, the stories appeared, some stencilled, some handwritten, some self-explanatory, funny, dour, elusive. L, a homeless person in Bury, said: ‘People who suffer have knowledge.’ The skin of these writers is thin; through it they feel the world intensely and report with great vividness.
Tweet From Engels an ‘anti-epic’ poem was also made from encounters with people affected by homelessness, as part of the a map of you project. The lives of contemporary homeless people, are in some cases are as harsh as the working class lives Engels described in 19th century Manchester, with similar life expectancy. Tweet from Engels, was shared via @tweetfromengels, with help from poets Tom Jenks, Scott Thurston and Becky Guest. The tweet sequence was later projected onto public buildings in Manchester and Stockport. Tweet From Engels was included in the major international Outsider poetry anthology Barbaric Vast & Wild (ed. Rothenberg & Rissman, 2015).
To view more of the postcards http://www.flickr.com/
2014 Text Festival and on BBC Online website.
2012 I Live Temporary, was a digital animated version of the cards, shown at MediaCityUK
2011 The postcards were exhibited as part of the international Text Festival at Bury Art Museum
2011 Artwork/poems from the project were shown on the BBC Big Screens in Manchester city centre over the course of the year, and tweeted by advertising company LOVE. (screen audience approx 1 million; tweet audience approx 91,000)
“walk past a restaurant // smile @ them thats th mask // I wont let them see me hungry #rainer” (Tweet from Engels)
TWEET FROM ENGELS (part of A MAP OF YOU PROJECT) was projected onto Stockport Market Place, as part of the Big Digital Project (2014)
Projected onto Manchester Town Hall, (2014)
Retweeted by Manchester Central Library (2017) @archivesplus #tweetfromengels to 11.8K followers
Press and media
2011 BBC Online
2011 BBC Radio interview
2011 Feature in The Big Issue in the North
129 Participants From Manchester and Bury aged 16 to 65+ Gender Male 105, Female 24
Supported by Arts Council England, Bury MBC and The Lowry – and working in partnership with The Big Issue in the North, The Red Door Housing Concern Centre, Brighter Futures at Bury Adult Learning Service, The Booth Centre and LOVE Creative.