Pendandan rambut London, Joshua Coombes memberikan perkhidmatan potongan rambut secara percuma kepada gelandangan. Sudah bertahun lamanya Joshua berusaha untuk mengubah imej gelandangan supaya mereka kelihatan kemas dan terurus.
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I’ll never stop opening my heart to new people… A stranger who became a brother to me. Cedric died last year, aged 45. I’m forever grateful for the connection we shared. I first met Cedric in Paris in 2017. At the time, he’d been sleeping on the street for three years. He had a handwritten sign – ‘Vote for me in 2020’ – As soon as I said hello, a big smile appeared. An hour later, I’m handing Cedric the mirror to see his new hairdo. We hung out all day there, listening to punk music and swapping stories. Here’s some of Cedric’s words – “I lived in London for some years with my girlfriend. I remember the carnivals so well, I loved my time there. I wanted to stay in London, but when my girlfriend and I broke up, I came back to Paris. That’s when things went downhill… I had a job at a library. It didn’t pay much but I enjoyed it. One day, I found out the library was closing. We lost our jobs. The rent on my place had already gone up. I started drinking more. I can see now I was depressed…I stopped caring. It wasn’t long before I spent my first night outside. A few months later, I visited Cedric again. After a big hug, I noticed Cedric had a black eye – “There’s so many good people in the day, but at night it can change…There’s a bar over there that stays open really late. There was a fight with two men and a woman. It’s my fault for saying something, when I did, I got punched.” Cedric had a meeting for some help to get into a room a few days prior. He attended but didn’t hear back – “I’m trying and always listening for places, it’s not easy. Any weeks with a step forward usually comes with more steps back. I never planned to be here…I hope one day there is another chapter. The third time I visited was different. A mural, painted by the amazing @christianguemy for a beautiful soul, no longer with us. I’m going to continue to make people visible the best I can. I know Cédric would have liked that he played a big part in giving others light also. Making mistakes is human. I don’t forget that. I’ve seen how love can change people. Listen to The Clash and keep dancing my brother. #DoSomethingForNothing
Seperti mana-mana pendandan rambut yang lain, Joshua yang berusia 31 tahun berbual dengan ‘pelanggannya’, mendengar buah fikiran, perasaan dan cerita mereka. Satu-satunya perbezaan Joshua dengan pendandan rambut yang lain adalah, jalanan merupakan salonnya.
Sekiranya anda bertanya kepada sesiapa tentang isu gelandangan, pasti ramai akan bersetuju bahawa ia adalah satu masalah besar. Semua orang tahu terdapat ramai orang yang tinggal di jalanan, tetapi usaha Joshua tidak begitu banyak untuk meningkatkan kesedaran; ia mengenai meningkatkan kasih sayang.
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Yesterday, I ran into Mathew again. We first met in the summer of 2017 in a park not far from this spot, in Central London. Mathew’s been away for a while since we last saw one another. He had his head down but I recognised him. Mathew – “Yeh, I remember – You cut my hair! And for my friend Luke also. It was summer wasn’t it..? I haven’t seen Luke for ages. We were really close. I miss him. He just disappeared one day about a year ago and I have no idea where he is… I find it difficult to get close to people. There’s nobody in particular that I reach out speak with. Things are up and down. Some days are worse than others. The small things that happen each day can help though… Like, I know I’m not all that approachable. I’ve never been very confident socially. But, when people do take the time to have a conversation, it means something. Everyone needs different things in their life. But having someone to listen to you is important for everybody.” #DoSomethingForNothing
Selepas dia selesai memotong rambut seseorang, Joshua akan bertanya sama ada dia boleh berkongsi kisah mereka di akaun Instagramnya dengan menggunakan hashtag ‘Do Something For nothing’.
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Whilst in Paris recently, I walked back to the same street where I once visited my late friend, Cedric. I always go back to this spot when I’m in the city. One street away from where he used to sleep, I met Florin. Florin came to Paris from Romania late last year. He’s worked in construction jobs for most of his life, but recently, steady employment became difficult, so he left for job opportunities elsewhere. He only spoke a small amount of English. But thankfully, one of Jaz’s (@theworldwidetribe) good friends, Joanna, is Romanian, so she help us communicate over the phone. When Florin came to Paris, things took an unexpected turn… He experienced a stroke that left him in hospital for a week. When he woke, Florin no longer had his passport or phone with him and had no memory of what happened… Without his documents, He had no way to travel back home so began sleeping on the streets… When we met Florin, he was waiting for an appointment with the Embassy of Romania and was in limbo for the foreseeable. Florin told us what makes him happy in life. It was was so good to meet that day. His warmth really shone through as we spent more time together. So much so that he insisted that we visit him in Romania when he manages to get back there. One realistic goal we can all have is to be more aware and present for those around us who might feel isolated. I saw the difference it made in Florin that someone noticed him and listened. Nothing should get in the way of the connection you can make with another human being and the potential is has to help them and, in turn, help yourself. #DoSomethingForNothing
Dengan berkongsi cerita atau kisah tentang seseorang gelandangan, Joshua menyoroti hakikat bahawa, seperti semua manusia, mereka mempunyai sejarah, cerita yang membawa mereka ke tempat-tempat yang mereka berada hari ini.
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I just arrived in Manchester this evening for @lightnoiseart exhibition tomorrow evening and I’ve been thinking about the last time I was here. This is Chris. He was in a bad way when I first met him. A friend of his had passed away just a few weeks before… Sadly, his friend was one of 50 homeless people who died on streets in Greater Manchester last year. Chris was in the army for years. He spoke a bit about that. “Things have changed a lot since then… I suffered with PTSD for a while afterwards. I didn’t know what to do with myself when that period of time ended. Well, anyway…here I am. I cut Chris’s hair in an alleyway away from the noise of the city centre nearby. It was nice to share those moments together before he had to run on to an appointment. Before we left, I asked Chris his message: “Have a little bit of love..spread it as much as you can…do you know what I mean? We’re all in this together. We all came into this world the same way…we’ll all go out the same way. We all end up in the same sized fucking box.”. I’d love to see anyone in Manchester at our event tomorrow. Free entry. All welcome. 6pm – 9pm at @theyard_mcr (Link in bio) It’s important to find new ways of telling the story of people like Chris to create a change. I believe in art and expression to do so. #DoSomethingForNothing
Selain memberi wajah baru kepada gelandangan, dia menjelaskan bahawa pergerakan Do Something For Nothing (DSFN) bukan hanya sekadar potongan rambut, tetapi tentang masa yang dia luangkan berbual dengan mereka yang sering diabaikan oleh masyarakat.
Pergerakan DSFN terus berkembang, tahun lalu Joshua dan rakannya yang merupakan artis, Jamie memutuskan untuk mencari jalan lain untuk menyebarkan kisah-kisah gelandangan kepada masyarakat.
Mereka pergi ke Skid Row, Los Angeles, salah satu kawasan yang paling padat dengan gelandangan di Amerika Syarikat. Apabila Joshua memotong rambut rambut, Jamie akan mengambil gambar dan kemudian melukis potret gelandangan.
Mereka menyewa ruang galeri dan memaparkan karya seni dalam pertunjukan yang dipanggil Light and Noise, dengan harapan untuk membina sebuah jambatan di antara gelandangan dan masyarakat.
Mereka membawa rancangan itu ke London, dan kemudian pendandan rambut itu bekerjasama dengan TOMS sebagai sebahagian daripada kempen Stand For Tomorrow syarikat itu. Bersama-sama, mereka menganjurkan empat lagi acara Light and Noise, di Manchester, Amsterdam, Paris dan Berlin.
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