Search

Photography success for YMCA resident who was ignored on the streets

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 June 2016

Sam Adesanya now works at the Crouch End Picturehouse. Photo: Polly Hancock

Sam Adesanya now works at the Crouch End Picturehouse. Photo: Polly Hancock

Archant

A YMCA resident says his “stubbornness” was key to surviving homelessness and finding new success in photography, with the help of a Crouch End social enterprise

Sam Adesanya lives at the North London YMCA, but has a new job at the Crouch End Picturehouse and is preparing for an upcoming exhibition at The Guardian’s offices.

He was one of the first participants in Accumul8 - a unique project which encourages homeless people to explore their creativity through jam-making, photography and film making.

Sam started taking part in workshops a couple of years ago when organiser Maurice Cumber visited the YMCA.

“They said, if you want to make a life for yourself, do what you want to do - and here’s a way with photography.” “We did our first exhibition at the YMCA gym.”

“I sold some pieces - and that was very surprising because I didn’t think I had talent.”

Sam lived with his family, but became homeless when relations with his father fell apart.

“We bleed the same blood, we have the same fears, but it’s as if when you become homeless, you’re invisible,” the 29-year-old said.

“And that’s the worst thing you can do to someone, not acknowledge their existence.

“Because they think, if I killed myself, no one would care.”

When Sam was on the streets, he had a series of jobs, including events-organising, and this presented challenges.

“It’s very tough, you get up and the first thing you do is find a place to have a shower, wash your clothes, get some food down you and look like you’re still a member of society,” he said.

Sam managed to do this by finding a hub for homeless people before moving to the YMCA.

He describes himself as “extremely resilient and stubborn.”

Always sketching, Sam wants to win a new scholarship which has become available for Accumul8 participants to study digital media at Ravensbourne University.

“What I want to do is photography, art, making films, acting - even modelling.

“I’d give everything a chance, anything creative.”

- Accumul8 photographers will be exhibiting at The Guardian offices from July 14. See: accumul8.org.uk/preparing-for-the-accumul8-photography-exhibition/

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

44 minutes ago

East Finchley schoolchildren descended on Whitehall to protest against their loss of access to libraries in Barnet borough.

13:15

A jealous Hornsey man has been jailed for six years for beating his partner with a ceramic frying pan – because she sent a text message.

14:54

The sparing of a nature reserve from closure following its take over by the HS2 High Speed railway line firm “pales into insignificance” when compared to disruption caused to homeowners, a critic has claimed.

14:32

A mother-of-four is on a mission to transform the handwriting skills of schoolchildren.

14:28

Two young thieves who terrorised women with a scooter-based crime spree have been locked up for a total of 15 years.

10:15

It was a devilish end-of-term library session for youngsters at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School with the visit of an award-winning author.

The Overground line between Barking and Gospel Oak could be closed over the Christmas period to allow electrification work to be completed.

Yesterday, 18:08

Concerned Chalcots residents are consulting lawyers about the possibility of legal action against Camden Council over the sudden evacuation of their homes due to fire safety concerns.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Navigating divorce or separation when there are children involved can be emotionally difficult and confusing for everyone involved. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now