Homeless Liam (Down and Out Duncan)
Continuing in the socially integrated sardonic manipulation of my friend’s Facebook photos, in this piece I took an image of an individual resting a train station toilets, and made it resemble a poster for the Salvation Army. By darkening and cooling the colour palette, applying the logo that bleeds out a reddish hue, along with the tag line of winter awareness campaign that they used, along with the website. For all intensive purposes, this is a reasonable Poster for the Salvation Army, though the manipulations were done relatively basically as is not intended to be a particularly extravagant display of graphic design potential.
Moreover, with the addition of the rough texture superimposed onto the mock-poster, it could be seen as more like an image from a horror film than charity poster, and lacking in the ‘hope’ aspect pivotal to charity iconography. As “Three out of four people [are] desensitized to images showing hunger, drought, and disease” [Ritchen, 2013: 108] such a hyperbolically negative image would probably have little positive effect, the aim of such posters and images is to raise awareness and promote charitable giving, not to depress the public. Showing something in a state of such despondent despair may have the opposite effect; if the viewer thinks that nothing can be done to help, then they will remain unwilling to help.
However, this piece was not intended as a critique on the aesthetic of charity poster design, but rather as a parody of an individual (whom I know not to be currently homeless) through the specialised semantic field. Nevertheless, it did not provoke much of an online response, so in that regard it failed, but when talking with the individuals involved, they did admit a slight humorous appreciation.
Daniella Star: While waiting a lot of hours for a train Liam decided to have a nap in the ladies. (After laughing at him and abusing this great photo opportunity I said ‘fuck it’ and layed down too and we both slept for two hours on a bathroom floor). It’s been hilarious. Bye bye London. — with Liam Duncan.
Benj Beauchamp: Just £5 a month can help support an impoverished youth in an area near you. Just £5 a month can get necessary food and shelter to poor suffering people in this especially hard time of the year. Just £5 a month can provide a springboard from homeless in your area to help find their feet, and get on there way. If you really want to make a difference this Christmas, please, give just £5 a month to the Help the Homeless campaign by making a regular or one off donation to Salvation Army. Help us reach out to lonely, unloved and isolated people this Christmas.
Daniella Star: Thanks Benj. That’s right lovely that is.
Alex Huntley: How could he sleep in the Ladies? I smell a conspiracy here…
Benj Beauchamp: [Image]
Liam Duncan: I used a hood to slink in and out, it was the warmest place so I had to get in someway!
BBC News. (2012). Africa Image Harming Effort, Says Charity Oxfam. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20842827 – In Ritchin, Fred. (2013) Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen. 1st Edition. Aperture.