MySydney exhibition shines light on Sydney's homeless

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A photography exhibition featuring work by people affected by homelessness opens in Sydney this Sunday.

An image by one of the 2020 My Sydney finalists. Image: My Sydney

In the middle of the pandemic, one hundred disposable film cameras were handed out to the homeless to take pictures of their lives. 

The project is the brainchild of Mike Allwright, who has been running the ‘My Sydney’ calendar project as part of his ‘Homeless inFocus’ organisation for more than five years.

Photographer Jai Jaru is the subject of a 50-minute documentary, Picturing Home.
Photographer Jai Jaru, who oversaw the 2020 MySydney competition is a former winner and now  subject of a 50-minute documentary, Picturing Home.

Mike said the competition is also run around the world.

“It was started in London in 2012 by Paul Ryan and went viral in 2015, inspiring me to get involved in Sydney," he explains.

‘MyWorld’ calendar was also created this year, and the front cover features a photo by Shane Ross, who also took part in the Sydney project in 2017.

“One of the highlights of this journey has been meeting Jai Jaru, who herself was homeless for many years,” Mike said. 

“Jai picked up a camera back in 2016, was one of the winners, and is now heavily involved in all aspects of running the competition.

“She has overseen the 2020 competition and is so committed to this project,” Mike said.

First time Director Annette Cohen was so captivated by Jai’s enthusiasm while making a documentary about Mike’s project, that she ended up focussing on her story for a documentary project. 

Picturing Home is a beautiful film that reminds us of the importance of connection, hope and ultimately the power of creativity and purpose,” Annette said.

“We are currently in discussions with a broadcaster for a screening in early 2021, and will be holding community screenings in the City of Sydney Council area throughout the year."

“The film and the photography competition has been generously supported by Fujifilm, as well as the City of Sydney Council and the many film makers who donated much of their time,” she said. 

You can watch a trailer for the documentary below.

The exhibition of the mySydney finalists will be showing at Ted’s Camera’s, 317 Pitt Street Sydney, from December 20 through to January 10. 

For more information about the ‘Homeless In Focus’ project please visit:

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