Andrés Brayan, 15: I spent one day accompanying Andres to Mexico City’s Basilica where I gave him a briefing on how to operate an SLR camera. Andrés continues to clean car windscreens by the traffic lights in the city centre.            “I believe in God, but I don’t believe in the saints or the Virgin. It seems to me that people who believe in them are looking for an easy solution to their problems, or they need someone to blame those problems on.”

 

Fernando had been living with Casa Alianza for over a year. Beforehand he had been living beneath a bridge with other children. He is now starting his secondary education.   “For me, freedom is being responsible. To be responsible is to do all the things that I should, such as washing myself, cleaning my clothes, keeping my personal space tidy. To be able to do these things is to have freedom.”

Fernando, 13: Fernando had been living with Casa Alianza for over a year. Beforehand he had been living beneath a bridge with other children. He is now starting his secondary education.
“For me, freedom is being responsible. To be responsible is to do all the things that I should, such as washing myself, cleaning my clothes, keeping my personal space tidy. To be able to do these things is to have freedom.”

Nallely, 15: “My photo is about my younger brother and sister and the link that I have with them even though we’re separated. This is where we used to play when we were little, it represents our shared past.”

Nallely, 15: One year ago Nallely demanded a restraining order against her mother. As a result of this she hasn’t been able to contact her younger siblings.  “My photo is about my younger brother and sister and the link that I have with them even though we’re separated. This is where we used to play when we were little, it represents our shared past.”

Yadira(30x21cm)

Yadira2(70x40cm)

Fabiola(35x23)

Carolina, 13 & Jimena, 12: Carolina and Jimena are inseparable at the hip. Occasionally, they run away from the home to one of three “secret” parks. They once spent five nights together sleeping in the climbing frame shown in these photos.
“These photos represent all the beautiful times we have spent together in this park.”

Francisco, 13: Before entering Casa Alianza a year ago, Alex spent a year in a state drug rehabilitation centre. He told me that as a form of punishment, patients would be fed very little, often with plain rice and “not even salt”. In his photos he wanted to recreate the luxury and pleasure in eating good food. He dreams of becoming a deserts chef. “I’m a boy who appreciates food a lot. Ever since I was little food has interested me. I would like to be a chef when I’m older and sculpt animals from food. I don’t think that’s something that many people have done before.”

Francisco, 13: Before entering Casa Alianza a year ago, Alex spent a year in a state drug rehabilitation centre. He told me that as a form of punishment, patients would be fed very little, often with plain rice and “not even salt”. In his photos he wanted to recreate the luxury and pleasure in eating good food. He dreams of becoming a deserts chef.
“I’m a boy who appreciates food a lot. Ever since I was little food has interested me. I would like to be a chef when I’m older and sculpt animals from food. I don’t think that’s something that many people have done before.”

Mariana(55x37cm)

Clara, 15: Clara had been on the streets for about six months before she went to live with Casa Alianza. She missed some of her friends who were still on the streets but was very happy to be back at school and to have adults around her who showed her support and looked after her.
“This photo speaks about love and respect. For me, it represents how I respect myself, love myself and care for my belongings.”

Guadalupe, 14: Guadalupe has been living in the Casa Alianza Mexico City home for one year after she and her sister, Jimena, escaped from the home of their violent father.  “My bed is where I go when I want to get away from the other girls in the house. I come here to think and to write.”

Guadalupe, 14: Guadalupe has been living in the Casa Alianza Mexico City home for one year after she and her sister, Jimena, escaped from the home of their violent father.
“My bed is where I go when I want to get away from the other girls in the house. I come here to think and to write.”

Luis(55x39cm)

Jorge, 13: Jorge has been moving between the street and several different institutions for the past three years, whilst also being in and out of rehab for a solvent addiction. He likes to draw as a means of relaxing and helping him think.
“Some months ago, when I was with the other institution, a friend there gave me this drawing and I gave him one in return. He worked there and he supported me a lot. I always keep his drawing in my pocket.”

Eduardo1(58x40cm)

Eduardo2(60x40cm)

José, 16: José is currently preparing to for his independent life. In doing so, he is building a house on a small plot of land on the city outskirts. He hopes to be able to provide a new home for the entire family, including his parents, his older sister, her husband and their three children. If José decides to marry, as is expected, an extra wall will be built dividing up his parents’ room to make space for the newlyweds.
“These photos are of my house and my memories; they represent my life and my efforts.”

Claudio1(55x39cm)

Claudio2(55x69cm)

Jareth, 10: Jareth was born and bred in the streets. His mother, a deaf-mute, still sleeps rough with her baby, Jareth’s little sister, but she remains in frequent contact with Jareth. Jareth likes to teach sign language to his friends in the home.
“These photos are of me, showing how I talk to my mum in sign language.”

Edwin 3

Edwin 2

Daniel was living on the streets the year that I spent with Casa Alianza, but he frequently came to the street outreach programme in the mornings to play Uno or just have a chat. A good friend of both Rodrigo and Juan Carlos, he became interested in the disposable cameras and documenting his own life on the streets towards the end of the project. He did so in my final week working there, also helping me compile most of the Mexico City exhibition.

MA3

Miguel 5

Alfredo was in Casa Alianza when I arrived in September, 2011, but he left just before Christmas. Although he suffers from solvent addiction, he is very interested in health and wishes to become a doctor. He wishes people would not throw their litter on the streets where he lives.

Javier 3

Javier 2

Juan Carlos began to visit the Casa Alianza offices regularly during my last months working. A week before he was to begin living in the home, I asked him to document his last week living on the streets using a disposable camera, not only as a document but also as a way to reflect and say goodbye. A prostitute himself, he photographed this prostitute and her daughter with whom he’d been living for two years.

The January, 2013 Exhibition at Kemistry Gallery, London.

The January, 2013 Exhibition at Kemistry Gallery, London.

dscn1990