Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Taking you taking them

Taking you taking them, originally uploaded by Headphonaught.

I didn't intend to take this picture tonight... I have no idea who the chap is in the pic nor do I have any thought as to why he considered it acceptable to photograph the Soup Van and the queue of folks waiting to be served.

I actually was quite blatant about taking the photo... but either he didn't notice or didn't care.

I found his behaviour rude and... if I am honest... rather dangerous.

We do not take photographs as a rule because we don't want to put a barrier between us and the folks we serve... some of which would prefer not to have their photo taken.

He was rude because he didn't ask... and he took a chance because he would have met with some strong opposition if he'd been spotted.

In hindsight... whilst I appreciate what he's trying to do... it still seems wrong to me and probably explains why I prefer to take pictures of buildings or people I know. People need a choice.

In this case... beggars can be choosers. For some people, choice is all they have.

I have spoken before about the abstraction of homeless folks from a group of individual folks with individual needs... to an entity... a "them". To destroy this abstraction... we need to personalise the folks we meet... get to know their names... listen to their story... be mindful to their needs and give them a choice as to how we can meet the needs they identify. We need to give them a choice.

People deserve the common courtesy to be asked whether or not they wish to have their photo taken. Not an easy task considering the number of folks present.

I just hope he got an awesome image that will be used to the benefit of the homeless in Glasgow.

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