The Camera Amnesty is our appeal to help homeless photographers – could you donate your unwanted cameras and photography equipment to help others?
We’re very proud to be able to work with inspirational charities and organisations across the UK that empower homeless people and refugees through photography.
Having worked with the charity Accumulate, supporting them with photography workshops, tutoring, portfolio reviews at The Photographers’ Gallery, and with their exceptional exhibitions at The Guardian, we decided to establish the Camera Amnesty (read about that moment, here).
We saw for ourselves how the work that Accumulate does is life changing, and we wanted to find another way to make sure that homeless photographers can carry on developing their careers and expressing themselves through their creative skills. Can you imagine seeing the image but not being able to take the shot?
Over time the Camera Amnesty has grown to the extent that we are able reach out to more organisations across the UK, including the Red Cross, Lodging House Mission in Glasgow, People of the Streets, and STARS (Supporting Treatment Accommodation & Recovery in Suffolk), and spread the generosity of the photographic community even further.
Do you have a camera or photography equipment you’d like to donate?
We can accept digital and film cameras, from D/SLRs to point and shoots, camera phones, film, memory cards, bags and anything that could be of use to a photographer.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project by donating equipment and spreading the word.
Think you have something? Brilliant. Get in touch with us here.
Please note: on the rare occasion where an item can’t be used by any of the groups (due to age, damage etc) rather than dispose of it, we will attempt to sell it on, and any income from this will go straight back into Camera Amnesty funds.
About the organisations the Camera Amnesty supports:
Accumulate runs creative workshops for people affected by homelessness and as a means to empower them to build their confidence, wellbeing and self-esteem, so that they can move forward more positively with their lives. Residents of 6 hostels across London have access to the photography course which works in collaboration with leading museums and galleries including The Tate, Barbican and The Photographers Gallery. Since 2016, ten previously homeless people have benefitted from Accumulates scholarship scheme and become students at Ravensbourne University London.
Accumulate have been able to give cameras to those in need and develop a camera library which is accessible by homeless photographers across London. The equipment donated through the Camera Amnesty has meant that in all the courses run, everyone has been able to access equipment which is right for their needs.
Red Cross Hackney Centre runs weekly sessions on photography and storytelling with photographer Venetia Menzies. Despite the ups and downs experienced by their service users (asylum seekers, destitute individuals and those in need) they have regular attendance from over fifteen students from different countries around the world.
The group have held an exhibition at the V&A Museum during Refugee Week. Visiting professional photographers from Magnum have given students group training, and art centres such as the Barbican regularly run private exhibition tours with the group. However, none of this would be worthwhile without the provision of cameras for these students to continue to develop their practise.
Lodging House Mission is a Glasgow based charity dedicated to providing care and support to homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded people. The Mission has over 100 years experience in helping disadvantaged people get their lives back on track and one of the ways of them doing so is to enable homeless members to develop new skills and feelings of self worth.
The Mission runs blocks of workshops that help development in photography and journalism skills. Members have exhibited within the mission as well as having many publications of images and text in the Pavement Magazine. They have also taken part in the Network Map project that saw many of the members take to the streets of Glasgow to photograph locations that could give a visual reference to places offering additional aid in the form of food, haircuts, advice etc. Camera Amnesty helps the mission to provide equipment allowing more members to take photographs, get involved in more projects and join in on the teaching blocks.