|HOPE is dotted around North London.|
I'd never been inside a squat before, but as I was looking up at Mau Mau's 'Get Rich Or Try Sharing', the door opened. I asked if I could go up on their roof to get a decent photograph of the graffiti - they said yes. We had a long conversation and I realised that these particular squatters were politically active and socially aware. We exchanged numbers.
After that I became more involved - first it was writing about open days and community events in various squats, then I began to work on a more detailed article about homelessness and the underuse of wasted spaces and empty buildings. Finally I found myself deeply involved in a social project which ran parallel to my own documentary - now called 'Get Rich Or Try Sharing'.
|Well placed: Mau Mau painted this between a squat and a bank|
One such example appeared last night on a boarded up doorway in Kentish Town. It reads simply, 'What homeless people?' Whilst this may be confusing out of context, residents of Kentish Town will know that this particular doorway had sheltered at least 2 homeless people from the wind and rain for several months. There has been a noticeable increase in homelessness on the streets of Kentish Town and locals responded by giving food and other essentials.
|Boarding up this sheltered doorway hasn't solved anything.|