Art Pimp

By Jude Evans

For three years Jude wrote short journalistic pieces for a  local 'what's on' magazine. She hopes her novel 'The drug department' will give a voice to the plight of addicts and the institutions that surround them.

I found this old lie in a bag, shoved to the back of a cupboard, not quite discarded, under boxes and musty slippers.  In the briefcase belonging to an old identity of mine I discovered a small stack of promotional leaflets.  I was founder member of this charity, long since folded and dissolved.

       Did the lie disolve with it? 
       Not as long as I live.
       I don't think a true lie ever really goes off, bad, or out of date, sell-by or otherwise.   
       As long as I live.

The cover image of the leaflet - are three-rows-of-three, small-portraits, wall of honour.  
       Who are we?
       Who were we?
Below our images are the words  'Homelessness is destructive, Flack is creative'  to bolster the illusory quality of the bold, ambiguous image.  More wonky inference than straightforward lie, the smiles and knowing looks on each face seem so positive about something!

My picture was taken by photographer Mark Woods-Nunn. The smile was for him.  Not for her.   I was only there that day because I had a counselling appointment.
       'Come on, join in!'  
Sweating and jangling, near tears, a smile was captured.   
       Job done
When this picture was taken I believed something. I believed the woman was trying to do something good, valuable to people in need.  The big issue was all well and good but all it did for us was provide an oversubscribed way to legally earn money.  

                                                          'FLACK'  -----   More than a magazine

'When I became homeless, I lost my confidence and felt very isolated, drifting aimlessly from day to day. I'm now getting my writing published which I never would have thought possible.

Flack has given me a way back into a structured lifestyle.

I feel useful again'

Five of the nine never contributed anything but a bum on a seat, a body counted as 'engaging.'

Put together the ingredients before you, and perhaps your brain, will calculate that these individuals are pleased or fulfilled in some way. Encourage a socially excluded, isolated individual to be a star for five minutes.  Massage their damaged ego and whether comfortable or not, at some point they will smile

She rounded us up, whoever was available that day, from among the hostels and shelters.  Take a seat, join the family!
       'Oh, We'll get him.  He'll come for the sandwiches.'                                             
       'That's so interesting!' 
       'A magazine written by us?'
       'A homeless social enterprise?'
       'Fit in?!' 

Groomed and g'd-up we performed for her multi media lie.
       'Taking part, inclusion, belonging is it's own reward.'

'You're all volunteers, it's all about you and your potential. Give me your poetry, journalism, artwork, and I'll sell it, publish it for you.'

'Flack offers training, support and a voice to people who are often overlooked; and so helps to rebuild their self esteem and break the cycle of homelessness.'