Can I Walk On By? Can You?

Passing the nest

In today’s post-truth, post-Brexit Britain it seems to me that we have more and more people living on our streets. In the town I live in, Reading, there are more and more men and women begging. A number of ‘nests’ have sprung up in doorways and alleyways in Station Road and Friar Street.

This is a first, I have lived here for more than 25 years and even in the depths of the hardest forms of Thatcherism there didn’t seem to be so many people on the streets.

What has gone wrong? Have we enough energy to care?

I can only imagine that government policies have squeezed the bottom of society to such an extent that there is nowhere else to go. This seems to be happening when there is less and less help available. The result is nests on the streets and endless hands held out for any spare change.

The famous photographer Don McCullin stated that he aims to re-humanise photographic subjects who have been de-humanised by their experience. I have been inspired by this to try and record the state of our streets and the nests that are building up in Reading and other towns across the country.

These nests are hard to look at and to walk pass, but they are there and shoppers on their daily path of Reading consumerism are walking by because they see no answer and no solution.

I have put some of my street sleeper photos in a folder and wonder why I walked past these people and why you walk by too.

Steet Sleep 2

This is the full set here. Click on the picture to see the set

Street Sleepers

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