This project, carried out in partnership with Liverpool’s Whitechapel Centre aims to provide the public with a unique insight into Liverpool city centre. 

Started by Conal McGuire, the project was formed over the last 12 months as he wanted to make a document of the city from a homeless person’s point of view. Its took a lot of work to get Roughly Speaking to where it’s at but he thinks the future of the project is very exciting, and some more great work is on the cards. Roughly Speaking will revitalise Liverpudlians’ existing understanding of the city they believe they know so well, by exposing them to the experiences of homeless men and women who sleep rough on the city streets.  Roughly Speaking though will be doing this in a visually striking and unique way, by giving the homeless participants the opportunity to have what they say published all over the city centre at legal fly poster sites, and later in an online record.

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In gaining the quotes for the posters Conal had to hold focus groups at the Whitechapel Day Centre, with the support of a lady called Carole Benn who is fantastic at engaging people and making the sessions as productive as they can be. The sessions have gave the duo an invaluable insight into the lives of the service users at the centre, now what he wants to do is let what they have to say be seen and heard, by giving them this unique platform. For Liverpool Light Night, last Friday, 50 posters had been put up around the city centre with a focus on different accounts of what it’s like in Liverpool at night, of course from the perspective of a rough sleeper. This element of the project being funded by Awesome Liverpool who covered the printing costs and also gave some pretty fantastic advice for potential developments, an online record being one of them.

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The next step of the Roughly Speaking project will actually be happening in Asia. Conan will be travelling around Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo gathering information on how homelessness and art and design cross barriers, also looking at how Japanese art instillations can be used for displaying work later on in the project. He was lucky enough to get this funded by the Go Global fund, who saw the potential in the research and who subsequently can help him give the project an edge. In August people can look out to see the next set of posters going up around the city centre, but this time with some more hard hitting quotes tackling the more realistic issues of sleeping on the city’s streets. Smaller versions of these posters will be available to buy later in the year, all proceeds going back to the Whitechapel.

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The idea is to keep dripping out these quotes and making a guide to our wonderful city from the viewpoint of some of its most overlooked residents. People can see some more information from the twitter page of the project which you can follow here. Donations to Liverpool’s Whitechapel Centre are always encouraged throughout the project as these guys are a beacon of support in the city, who need all the help they can get to provide the excellent service they do.

We look forward to seeing where this project can go, good luck to Conal and everyone else involved.