The Doorways Project began initially as a photography project where I photographed the doorways where I used to sleep and told the stories of these doorways. The photo essay was published in The Big Issue and New Internationalist in 2014.
The Doorways Project Sound Installation
(Exhibited at: Edinburgh Fringe (2015); Brighton Festival; Metal Liverpool; FACT Liverpool, London Southbank and Tramway Glasgow (2016).
We were awarded a commission from ‘Unlimited’ (arts funding) to develop The Doorways Project, which was a touring site-specific sound installation. I interviewed people in Brighton, Liverpool, London, Edinburgh and Glasgow about their experiences of living on the streets. Rather than ask people “why they became homeless” I wanted to explore what everyday street life is like, those experiences of rough sleeping which unless you have direct personal experience, most people are unlikely to know much about. The project aimed to tell stories of the day to day reality of street homelessness.
The interviews were edited to short monologues which were played in doorways in city-centre streets, in doorways which replicated sleeping spaces (but were not someone’s actual sleep site as we didn’t want to displace anyone). Situated across different locations the installation is a reflection on the spatial experience of life in a city. Audiences were invited to intimately engage with the difficult (and mostly ignored) experience of homelessness, and hear first-hand the challenges it presents. It is a unique opportunity to observe a familiar environment from a different perspective.
Doorways: Women, Homelessness, Trauma and Resistance (Book)
Laura E. Fischer, Andrea Gibbons, Janna Graham, Pippa Hockton, Anna Minton, Mary Paterson, Moyra Peralta, Lisa Raftery, Shiri Shalmy and Andrea Luka Zimmerman
‘Doorways’ was published in 2019 by House Sparrow Press. The book is an anthology of writing by artists; academics; journalists; therapists and housing activists about the social, political and cultural contexts of women’s homelessness. Written entirely by women and with testimonies of women who are currently street homeless at the heart of the book, Doorways is an uncompromising dispatch on the realities of gendered violence, austerity, social cleansing and the housing crisis.
Available to buy here: https://www.housesparrowpress.com