How IMPREINT challenged our views on homelessness with his latest project “cut off”

I’ve been invited to testify to ‘cut off’ (link) a challenging project from the artist IMPREINT about homelessness. “Cut off” really opened my eyes to the reality of what was happening in London with the homeless and how we take a warm bed for the night for granted. Take in a view of London in the early hours of the morning and you will see all sorts of characters but most importantly the scenes you take in will challenge you. The artist invited me to shoot the 24th of December and view how he approached the subject and then I had the opportunity to ask with him about the project.

Q: How was it to run this project for one year?

A: I haven’t realized it yet, once finished I need to take a break and then make full considerations.

Q: Did it affect your life?

A: Well, I used filters to preserve myself from too much pain and implications but is impossible to not be touched. I’ll give you a simple example, before when I was going to sleep and there was rain I was just enjoying the sound. Now I think of those that are in the street and have to find a place to cover themselves. The sight is reflected in my memories that I’ll never forget and that I live with.

Q: You asked me to come specifically between 4 and 6 am, was there a specific reason?

A: Because I consider this the most genuine time to understand the issue. There is no lie and it is silent, surreal.

Q: I always found the pictures of this project so powerful, do you plan to exhibit them?

A: I haven’t planned anything since the beginning, it was just something that I decided to do in an open and resolute way for one year. This project in itself is finished in its aesthetic, silence and meditation. I’m working on other things, but is too early to talk about that.

Q: Did you expect so many positive reactions?

A: You don’t start a project like this one to please or be pleased, you start because you strongly believe in what you are doing. I thank you with gratitude whoever kindly gave his contribution in whatever form to what I’m doing or I’ve done and fortunately most of us still have sensitiveness, but I don’t base my work in expectations or having necessarily pleasant feedbacks. My work finishes in the moment that I’ll propose it, the rest is something that doesn’t have to concern me and I don’t personally manage. My answers are ultimately my artworks.

Q: What did you realize regarding this issue during the project?

A: That we are distant from our emotions. That we forgot our original purpose and that we need to pay more attention. We are lost, we try to escape from the reality thinking that this will protect us, when we just escape from ourselves we are creating even more damage. What is happening is our mirror, but we don’t want to look at. We become indifferent, we classify and categorize everything because this give us ‘safety’. We defined a person with needs that is in the street: a homeless person. This is ridiculous, the earth belongs to us and is the home of all of us! Personally I’ve listened to enough words that doesn’t follow through with actions. But I want to believe in our souls, so let’s learn how to be in contact for real with our emotions, stopping, observing and acting. We shouldn’t accept as conventional that someone is sleeping in the street. Let’s rid get rid of our fears, preconceptions, habits, rules and proposals of a pre-packaged society and let’s show this famous love that we are talking about. Collective action is made by individuals. Let’s start to take responsibility without waiting for others or blaming something or someone.

Q: Do you have suggestions of how to approach this?

A: By doing the experience with open arms, by being present, sitting with them instead of looking at them and using the same good manners that you’ll use if you’ll visit a friend of yours. There is not a homeless person in front of you, but there is a person like you to treat with respect and kindness starting from the simplest things. If you want offer a coffee for example, don’t forget to ask which type and with how much sugar. It can look obvious, but believe me it has been one year that I’m in the streets and it doesn’t seem so. I’m seriously concerned about our attitude and we should feel ashamed of how we treat each other, remembering that there is no love that is wasted. A beautiful garden doesn’t exist if the people die outside starving.

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40 thoughts on “How IMPREINT challenged our views on homelessness with his latest project “cut off”

  1. In my writing I try to expose the need for realistic solutions to better health. Treating the homeless with dignity and respect as well as helping to assist them from their plight is a moral responsibility we should all impost on ourselves. You created a wonderful blog post that reinforces this message.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for this post about humanity. Homelessness is world wide and so often it is swept under the covers. Only by people like you bringing it to the forefront can we ever hope for solutions.
    Thanks for following me. I truly appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A key sentence for me is “We are distant from our emotions.” I fear that the shrinking of our world by the internet and war and refugees has almost overwhelmed those of us who want to feel and care. To some extent we have to choose where to focus that caring. But it is good to see what others are doing in case we can see a way to help. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Thank you for the follow and the like on my recent quotes post. I’ve been in London in the middle of the night with nowhere to stay and seen the homelessness for myself. The whole city seems to shut down at night and although there are some places open the whole place feels very lonely compared to the London we all see during the day. It’s so important to make these people feel like people, as it is easy for society to ignore them or even worse treat them like an inconvenience. All humans have a right to be treated equally, regardless of where they end up sleeping. Hope you don’t mind me adding my thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am entirely humbled by your choice to follow my blog. Just a quick skim round yours tells me that I will LOVE the work you are doing and the projects you are engaged in. This one is right up my street – homelessness lights me up …. but I won’t clog up your comments box by getting on my soapbox. Instead I will try and engage with you and your audience in a constructive way as we go forwards 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good reminder. It’s shameful that any developed nation has so many living in such great need. Los Angeles, where I live, is quite bad, even worse with the housing crisis. It’s a tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thank you for sharing your project. How easy it is for one to have the misfortune of finding themselves homeless, and though I never forget the fact, I’m at a loss as how to respond effectively when I come across people sleeping rough in the city

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Because I consider this the most genuine time to understand the issue. There is no lie and it is silent, surreal. That’s a very interesting statement. Something important to build on. Thanks for the follow, btw. Look forward to see you around and getting to know you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Homelessness is so enormously sad. I give monthly donations to a wonderful charity for the homeless here in Australia. It’s dreadful to think (and know) that there are millions of people every night without a shower and warm (and safe) place to live. Deeply saddening.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Impreint’s work is raw, honest and touching, I’ve been following the wordpress site for awhile now. And this interview is of equal candor, a gem, the translation of the isolation not only of those in the streets but also from ourselves and the realities in our world. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent post and great questions for the artist. Now I will think about rain differently as well. I believe we fear getting too close because it will rip apart our illusion of our perfect life bubble, which is exactly what needs to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was a great post about a topic – homelessness – through the artist. People don’t even see the homeless – this brought them front and center. Thank you for following my blog and I will stop in from time to time!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a great read. Coming from NYC, I see homelessness everywhere and it is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing this and giving a different perspective of approaching homelessness with a more compassionate stance. Every person has a story to tell, every one is battling a battle you can’t see.

    Appreciate the follow! I look forward to your future posts 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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