Edinburgh care charity and community hub, the Eric Liddell Centre, is hosting a photography exhibition to showcase the experiences of private tenants.
Funded by Shelter Scotland’s partnership with the Oak Foundation, the “photo voice” project is carried out by Open Aye, a social enterprise that provides photography workshops, encouraging people to use photos to raise awareness of particular issues.
The idea behind this project is to enable private tenants to explore themes around housing, belonging and community within the private rented sector, and invite policymakers and the public along to see what they are experiencing.
John MacMillan, CEO of the Eric Liddell Centre, added:
“We are thrilled to welcome the photo exhibition here to the Eric Liddell Centre. We work to provide a range of services throughout Edinburgh communities, so to be able to provide a space where tenants in the private rented sector can showcase their work thanks to Shelter, is just fantastic.
“The exhibition is taking place for a week so I hope we see both familiar and new faces as well as policy makers to the centre and help the project gain the awareness it deserves.”
Participants in the project were trained in photography and took images over a three month period which highlighted their views and aspirations around private housing.
James Battye, Private Renting Project Manager with Shelter Scotland said:
“It can be difficult for private renters to speak out about the issues that affect them. This project has allowed people to have their say in a different way. We want to take private tenants’ views and put them directly to decision-makers. This project is a small but significant step in that direction.”
“Among those whose photographs will be on display are members of the Shelter Scotland private tenants’ group and representatives from LGBT Youth Scotland who can find themselves up against discrimination of top of high rents and scarcity of suitable homes.”
The aim of the project is to put the views and experiences of private tenants at the centre of policy change, by connecting them with politicians and policymakers.
The exhibition began on 17 July and will take place one week from 5pm-7pm, with everyone welcome including private tenants, landlords, letting agents, policy makers and those interested in the private rented sector.
The Eric Liddell Centre supports an average of 2000 weekly visitors to a wide range of community based activities, beyond exhibitions. This includes respite for carers, yoga, Pilates, martial arts and gymnastics for toddlers.