Celebrating the work of the world’s street papers


A street paper seller in South Africa

Graham Martin's photo

24th January 2017 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

The world’s first exhibition celebrating the creativity and social impact of street papers throughout the globe will be held in Glasgow.

Launching as part of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) #VendorWeek 2017, the exhibition – UNCOVERED: still homeless, still an issue – will be the first time that audiences have had the opportunity to explore the outstanding design of street papers and the story behind the global street paper movement.

The free interactive exhibition, created in partnership with ideas agency Equator, starts with a launch event on the evening of Thursday, 9 February and will be open to the public from 10 February – 9 April at The Lighthouse.

While The Big Issue is well known throughout the UK, many people are unaware that there are 110 papers in 35 countries that use the same model to offer “a hand-up, not a hand out” to people facing homelessness and social exclusion.

Glasgow is at the heart of this network, as the home of INSP – the network organisation that brings these papers together, offering support, advice and resources.

#VendorWeek is INSP’s annual, global celebration of the 10,000 men and women who are currently selling street papers.

Maree Aldam, chief executive of INSP said: “At INSP we are wowed by the creativity of street papers on a daily basis. This unique exhibition is an opportunity for everyone to share that feeling.

“We hope visitors will come away from the exhibition with a sense of the strength of the street paper movement across the world. By challenging people’s preconceptions, we believe we can encourage respect for the men and women who sell street papers.

“We hope that people will leave the Lighthouse filled with pride in Glasgow and its place at the heart of a global network for social change. And – most importantly – we hope that they will be inspired to go and seek out a vendor to buy their magazine.”

Chief creative officer and co-founder of Equator, James Jefferson, added: “This exhibition is an amazing way to highlight an issue that’s right on our doorstep. Homelessness is unfortunately still an issue in 2017.

“Glasgow has been at the heart of the global street paper movement and we’re proud to be a part of that. We wanted to hero the vendors that sell these street papers from all over the world and provide them the recognition they deserve, but in a way that allows visitors to understand what goes into not only selling each issue, but producing them too.

“Anyone who has picked up a copy of The Big Issue or any other street paper will know the fantastic level of journalism and design work that goes into each copy – with the Dalai Lama and the Pope among those who have given interviews. This exhibition will help highlight all the work that goes into crafting each issue.”

Tickets are available for the launch night, as well as events throughout the exhibition at insp.ngo/uncovered.