Invisible Cities, the social enterprise that trains people who have previously experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city in Edinburgh,Manchester, Glasgow and York, is collaborating with artist John Hewitt to create a stunning community led art project. Exploring ways to visually represent poetry and words alongside images, the partnership will be using the city as their very own gallery space.
Aiming to break down the stigmas around homelessness and give a voice to those who have felt invisible in their own city, Invisible Cities is focussing on work from their principal Manchester Tour Guides – Danny Collins, Laura Ashcroft, Andy Mercer – who will be sharing their work, centred around the words Invisible, Homelessness and Manchester, alongside illustrations by artist John Hewitt, portraying the issues around homelessness.
Zakia Moulaoui Guery, Founder & CEO of Invisible Cities comments, “We wanted to focus on building bridges between word and image, and we wanted to do so by using the city as a gallery space. What better way to address something invisible than making it visible for all to see?”
The project is displayed on billboards across Manchester, so as to reach both those experiencing homelessness and the wider community.
Manchester is also the focus of Invisible Cities’ latest addition, the Invisible (Manchester) Discovery Trail, created by the Invisible Cities local guides. The trail, available for download from a mobile device, creates a fun way for the family to get outdoors and discover something new during lockdown.
Invisible Cities is a social enterprise that doesn’t believe in labels or stereotypes. They want to show that everyone has great potential. They train people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer these alternative tours to tourists and locals. Their training focuses on confidence building, public speaking and customer service. They partner with professional tour guides to build bespoke tours and practice their routes.
For more information visit https://invisible-cities.org/