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Women Without Walls exhibition at the UN!

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

From the left: Bernadette from Budapest, Sarah from Cafe Art, Goska and Geraldine our London Photographers, Paul from Cafe Art and Heather and Hope from New Orleans

Nestled amongst the snow-capped mountains, Lake Geneva sparkled as we made our way to the UN Swiss headquarters for our ‘Women Without Walls’ exhibition.

Joined by Heather and Hope from New Orleans and Bernadette from Budapest we all gathered for a truly unique experience. Dressed in our finest, the Café Art team and guests stood proudly amongst UNECE and UN Women staff.

The exhibition was formally opened on world Habitat Day and the start of Urban week, by both UNECE and UN Women representatives. They touched on what global issues are affecting homeless women including the specific needs of women experiencing homelessness. They made links to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.Our wonderful photographer and representative, Geraldine Crimmins then introduced and presented a wonderful speech to kick off and open the exhibition!

The exhibition itself is a series of 20 photographs that showcases photographs taken on disposable cameras from five projects for people affected by homelessness. Photographs are from photography projects with homeless and recently homeless women in London, Budapest, Sydney, New Orleans and Toronto. It has been displayed in one of the busiest glass corridors in the UN complex, overlooking the French Alps.

Staff and guests stop to admire the work.

Hope and Pavitra from the UNECE who organised this event

Bernadette from MyBudapest, Paul and Heather from MyNewOrlenes

Sarah and Goska in front of her wonderful photograph.

Geraldine and Hope swapping cities!

Two days later we were invited back to attend the “Right to Housing” Library talk. Panellists included; Mr Miloon Kothari, president of the UPR info, Ms Paula Maycock, founder of Women’s Homeless in Europe Network (WHEN), and Mr Juha Kaakinen CEO of Y Foundation in Finland. Special guest speakers included Geraldine Crimmins, who spoke about her personal experiences of homelessness and how powerful art and creativity is as a rehabilitation tool. Finally, Mr Andreas A Tjeldflaat presented a new design for tempory urban accommodation inspired by beehives...

The panel highlighted very interesting topics, such as if we properly implemented a right base approach to homelessness what would that look like? Why is gender often ignored when people talk about homelessness and why is there more of a focus on temporary accommodation rather then permanent? ... Food for thought...

Paul with Mr Miloon Kothari

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