A lens on homelessness

Posted: Fri, 13th September 2019

Scholarship recipient, Fauve, hopes that her series documenting a homeless man's journey experiencing schizophrenia will inspire compassion from individuals and break stereotypes.

A lens on homelessness

Fauve McCurley is a year 9 student who has a passion for photography, art, and law.

“I am fascinated by the idea of capturing a moment and turning it into something meaningful or awe-inspiring.”

Fauve’s Western Chances scholarship allows her to pursue her love for photography and reach heights she didn’t believe possible.

“Without Western Chances' help I wouldn’t have had much hope of continuing with photography. Western Chances paid for my camera and are paying for other photographic necessities. I am very grateful for that. Western Chances gives me hope for my future. That’s something we should all have.”

Fauve is currently working on a series documenting homelessness in Altona, where she will follow the journey of a local man through stills and videos. The series will provide an insight into the hardship of homelessness and break common stereotypes.

“I first saw him reading John Le Carre and asked him about it. He talked about the book for half an hour. He is not an alcoholic or a drug addict as is the common perception of homeless people (you don’t have to be homeless to be an alcoholic or a drug addict).  Some people don’t give him money because they think he’ll spend it on alcohol.”

Her series will also comment on the lack of resources available to people experiencing homelessness: “This man is experiencing schizophrenia and his mum can’t deal with him at home, so the only time he sleeps there is when his brother sneaks him in. His brother also begs at the shopping centre. They have to beg after eight o’clock at night because centre security will move them on or ring the police. It is illegal to beg in Melbourne and that is unfair. Many people are happy to give this man money and some locals regularly donate and engage with him, helping him keep safe.”

She hopes this photographic series will inspire compassion: “I believe that compassion is the biggest redeeming feature of humans and wish we all possessed it. You’ll find bucket loads at the local Friday night soup kitchen.”

Fauve has big dreams for her future, she wants to become a lawyer to help others.

“My big dream for the future is that we’ll tackle climate change really quickly before we all become characters in a dystopian novel, that we look after the poor, and for there to be no such thing as homelessness. I also dream of becoming a lawyer.”

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