Homeless Shadows is a shadow theater project working in collaboration with homeless communities in Berkeley and Oakland, CA. Through collaborative workshops, shadow theater performances, and public art works, Homeless Shadows aims to:
-Create opportunities for those who are experiencing homelessness to express themselves to the public;
-Create opportunities for housed and unhoused members of the public to collaborate on works of art;
-Raise public awareness and challenge stigma around homelessness.
We believe that our work is not only important, it is also rare. This is because, while there are many organizations that provide shelter or day services to the homeless, and other groups which bring food and medical supplies directly to homeless camps, there are no organizations that we are aware of in the East Bay providing opportunities for creativity and self expression which work directly with homeless camps on the street.
Our collaborative projects working with the housed and unhoused members of the East Bay community provide opportunities for direct connection between these groups, furthering public understanding of the experiences and perspectives of those who are homeless. We believe that creative collaboration is a democratic, thoughtful and playful way for housed and unhoused members of the community to interact and learn from one another.
The illuminated tent installations created by Homeless Shadows in collaboration with homeless camps have reached thousands of members of the public. The messages they convey are chosen by the unhoused communities which they represent through a careful process of group discussion. The installations are created with materials which are 100% off grid, using solar lights and used tents. Recently, a photograph of a tent installation created with the Where Do We Go? Campaign in Berkeley, CA was featured on the December 2019 cover of Harper's Magazine.
We hope to expand this work to more communities in the East Bay.
Funded by Oakland, CA (January 2020)