Art piece to bring attention to homelessness
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie
The London Homeless Coalition and London Homelessness Outreach Network are taking to their cause to the streets.
While most people are talking turkey Oct. 10, the homeless organizations will be putting on a performance art awareness piece in the Museum London parking lot to promote World Homeless Action Day.
“We thought doing something with a performance aspect, something large and interesting, might be likely to catch the interest of your everyday citizen,” said Dr. Abe Oudshoorn, founder of the outreach network.
The performance tells the story of a company planning to solve the affordable housing crisis problem in the city. During the show, Les Jardins de Carton, a 20-foot cardboard housing development will be constructed.
“I think we live in a society of spectacle so we have to kind of match that with our message,” said Jeremy Jeresky, art director for the show.
The performance will be filled with plenty of cold hard facts, said Oudshoorn, adding it’s hard to collect concrete numbers on homelessness in the city because there’s no way to get accurate statistics.
“(The) shared estimate in the community is about 2,000 people on any given night,” Oudshoorn said. “The one thing we do know, even though we don’t know exact numbers, is that it is getting worse just on anecdotal evidence from every agency saying the food bank is giving out more food, the kitchens are serving more meals and shelter beds are more often at capacity.”
The awareness piece is going to be recorded and photographed and later turned into activist art for a gallery show.
“The message of there’s an eight- to nine-year wait-list for social housing in London, for example, is something that’s front and centre. It’s hard to miss numbers like that,” Oudshoorn said.
The Thanksgiving Day performance takes place at 421 Ridout St. N. between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., followed by a free turkey lunch.