Somewhere Nowhere: A Graphic Novel About Homelessness
Several months ago, we decided to produce something from our research that would engage a larger, more diverse audience than those who would normally take an interest in academic research findings. This project has given us a great opportunity to do so. Because the life stories of the people we interviewed during the course of the research were so rich, informative, and thought-provoking, we felt they were worthy of being retold to a wider audience. Our idea was to produce a graphic novel telling a small selection of the stories told to us.
We were introduced, via a colleague in the University’s Art School, to Sam Dahl. At the time, Sam was completing his postgraduate studies at the University and has been working hard at providing the artwork for the book ever since. We’ve taken five diverse stories to provide the content for the graphic novel and each depicts a different pathway that precedes an episode of homelessness. The working title of the book is ‘Somewhere Nowhere’ and refers to the displacement that people often described in their life story: they knew where they were in time and space but were unclear of their place in their life journey.
We’re pleased to share a small sample of the images from the book here. Though these are all based on the real life stories of our participants, note that the names used here are anonymised and care has been taken to remove clearly identifiable information.
The following images are taken from Scott’s story. He described experiencing a happy, normal childhood which was destroyed by an incident of sexual abuse. For Scott, this was a turning point in his life which led to many other factors often associated with the term ‘complex lives’: family rejection, rough sleeping, substance misuse, and poor physical health.
The graphic novel is scheduled for completion at the end of May where it will be available for people to take away and read at our research dissemination event in Stoke. In a future post, I will publish some more details about the book’s distribution. We’d like it to be read as far and wide as possible. We hope the book will be easy for anybody to pick up and read regardless of their knowledge of homelessness. We also hope it will enable new audiences to learn more about the complexity of people’s lives and the problems they may be addressing before and during their episodes of homelessness.
If you have any feedback, questions, or comments about Somewhere Nowhere, please leave them in the box below. We’d be really interested to hear what people have to say about it.
Entry filed under: Findings, Public engagement. Tags: complex lives, dissemination, graphic novel, homelessness, illustrations, life stories, poor health, publication, Rough sleeping, Sam Dahl, Somewhere Nowhere, substance misuse.