The success of UNSEEN is due to the participants, advocates, sponsors and volunteers who have enabled this project to come to life. A huge thank you to the public who come forward to listen and share the stories of the women from the project. Everyone is invited to provide feedback on the project as this will help us develop the project further.
A very powerful art installation!
I couldn’t believe it – in a ‘lucky’, ‘wealthy country like Australia, there are so many UNSEEN homeless women, women and children – destitute. And I am one of them.
Unseen, Unsilenced, Unheard we are fighting for the right to be heard.
Homeless, carrying pain with the meagre few belongings left in this world. awash by sadness, tears, hopes and small joys.
Unseen, unhoused and unloved. Heartache, disappointment and misery my only companions as I journey endlessly in these crowded busy streets empty of kindness ad compassion. I am unseen broken and alone dreaming dreams of a safe home.
Unseen, unsilenced unheard, I bring you my spoke work that I will fight for you and with you. I will pull the curtains back from your eyes that have grown blind from their own ignorance, prejudice and fear.
Unseen, unspoken, unheard we are all the Unseen of this world.
I dedicate this poem to all my Unseen homeless women
My main takeaway is how I felt being a part of UNSEEN helped me be more aware of my identity and how much I’ve changed for the better…I got a new positive view of my experience, myself as a stronger and better person…that happens for me having a one to one interview with Belinda…I was able to express myself in a deeper way.
Participating in UNSEEN gave me a chance to have my story heard
As a woman who has experienced multiple generations of violence, I haven’t felt seen often in my life. I am often overlooked by the systems that don’t grant me the freedom and justice I deserve.
Being able to tell my story, learning to use my voice and being photographed in the unseen exhibition has made me feel like my story is important, valued and integral to a safer world for women.
I feel important.
I feel seen.
I feel known
Women are not seen or represented as often as men, in conversation about homelessness. The Unseen Project has given a platform to speak about the issues that affect us. Safety is a big one and it can be a big step to speak up. Connecting with all ages of the public has shown that I am not alone, my story matters and I deserve to be heard. Being amongst a group of women who support me in telling my story is so empowering and validating. And having a creative medium to do this breaks down the barriers and anxiety that words and text can bring. I’ve been able to connect with myself, connect with some of my past and let it go. It’s part of my healing journey.
Participating in UNSEEN was very emotional to begin with, the process of painting my artwork opened old wounds; but on the same token it allowed me to speak my truth, which is very empowering, knowing that I have survived to tell our story
I came to the project as a volunteer. I didn’t realise all the hard times I struggled through when I was younger could be acknowledged and recognised. People came to talk about experiences they had had and also probably had not been able to speak about comfortably – with a stranger! They told their stories too. Or just gave encouragement.
It’s incredibly urgent NOW to speak up and raise awareness about the UNSEEN!
The women and children experiencing or have experienced homelessness.
The stigma needs to change.
Having a mobile pop up multimedia art installation where the public can meet the participants and view the different exhibits on display is both beneficial for the UNSEEN participants and the public because it allows a safe friendly space to be able to educate and converse with people.
45000 women over the age of 55 in NSW are currently homeless mainly due to circumstances beyond their control.
Throw a virus in to the mix and the situation turns cyclonic.
Mental health issues are evident with homelessness.
These could manifest in to chronic medical conditions.
I have been affected with mental health issues most of my life.
When I was homeless, I stayed at my children’s fathers home for a few weeks.
And then I slept in my daughter’s car,
Stayed in youth hostels, slept in the back of the office at work, then transitional housing.
Now I have permanent social housing.
Sydney real estate is not affordable.
Rental prices are outrageous.
Women *(55) are slipping through the cracks!
Much much more HAS to be done!
This CRISIS is happening, it’s happening NOW!
Who knows one day you too could be homeless and UNSEEN!
Being a part of UNSEEN made me feel like we were getting the message about homelessness out there so that people can understand, and not judge homeless women.
The UNSEEN art installation spoke to and gave voice to the unseen women in society. My shoes represent the many disabled and chronically ill women who live below the poverty line because of economic hardship. I am grateful that such an artwork exists and to be a part of it.
As a participant of UNSEEN, it is empowering to know that caring people really want change. The system is not designed to cause change. You end up bitter. Too many males rule the system with a ‘Hollywood-used’ view from the 1950s
My experience of being a part of the unseen project: Being a part of the unseen project has been exhilarating.It was with some apprehension that I initially agreed to participate, but Belinda’s genuine commitment to the project and compassion for those of us involved led me to agree. I am glad that I did.I do not fit the publicly held stereotype of what a homeless woman is. I am highly educated holding a PhD among other degrees. Until my early forties. I lived in a long-term relationship, we owned our own house (well had a mortgage!), and I worked in the public health system and then my own practice as a health professional. I later became a Senior Lecturer at University running a Masters program. A series of unexpected life events in quick succession took all of that away. I found myself struggling with mental health issues and alchohol subsequent addiction. I lost my partner, our home, and custody of my daughter.I was violently assaulted and almost killed and placed in protective accomodation for six months until the resolution of a courtcase (on the positive side a guilty sentence and jail sentence were achieved.) I was unable to work during this time during the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder. I subsequently lost my career. I found myself broke and homeless, my life was in chaos and I was lost to myself.I would say to anyone who judges from a safe life that this was not in my life plan. I did not wake up one day and think “hey maybe this year I’ll have a nervous breakdown, lose everything that I have built up and value and find myself wretched and homeless”. It emphasises for me that this can indeed happen to anyone. Being involved in the Unseen project meant meeting a diverse group of women who have experienced homelessness. From all different walks of life, with varying life stories to tell, the camaraderie, support and care that I have found with this group is precious. It has helped me to find myself again, with a solid sense of walking with my feet on the group.Being homeless you are no one going nowhere. You are invisible to the world and often to yourself. The Unseen project has given me the opportunity to be both SEEN and HEARD.
I saw the UNSEEN project in Circular Quay when I was walking past. I then decided to participate. Being a part of UNSEEN has brought to light how far I’ve come. Sometimes we have to look back to see how far we have come.
People are not born homeless. It is sad that people are quick to judge and in doing so they come to conclusions that are unfounded about those who find themselves homeless. For our Australian Defence Force veterans who are homeless, it is very disappointing as they have sacrificed so much in serving our country. They have witnessed unimaginable hardships, suffering, and pain which have a massive impact on their spirit and inner self. Their deep wounds and scars need to be healed through understanding to prevent their traumatising experience from impacting on their lives and the people that they love.