In the last months, I have dedicated myself to document the effects that overcrowding has on families and children. It has been a hard task in that although the problemis increasingly expanding in magnitude, entering someone’s home is always difficult. Feeling of embarrassment were among the main taboos. I understand it totally, as families living in overcrowding conditions have not chosen to live among boxes, but they have no choice. With time, I realised that although my pictures were showing the clutter, the lack of space and privacy, I had to fight my frustration because I couldn’t say all the thoughts and things that the people were telling me and I wanted it badly. I returned to each family that had given me their time, opened their homes to me and took a recording of their feelings on living in an overcrowding situation. I feel that this was fairer representation. I will post a link to these soon.
Overcrowding in homes is a large problem affecting hundreds of thousands of people. In London alone, there are over 220,000 households reported as overcrowded. The negative effects that overcrowded homes has on families are numerous. Recent findings from the Housing Researchers Summary 2010 demonstrate that overcrowded conditions may lead to poorer health, mental health problems such as is stress and depression and the quality of life is poor. Living in a home where there is not space for oneself and the freedom to be oneself generates also other issues., in facts affected children tend to show degraded educational performance, lower educational attainment as they do not have space todo their homework or are sleep deprived. By making overcrowding, an urgent issue to tackle , it will in the long run resolve other social problems.
Three families, one from Chichester and two from London have collaborated in this project. They have opened their homes and shown their reality of living in an overcrowding conditions. The images documents the families daily lives in crammed homes where one lacks privacy, does not have space for doing homework, daily routines, and ultimately the whole household has to compromise in order to “live”.