FAULTLINES An audio installation by Ezreen Delaila Taib 1051104532 MMD3033 Media Arts FYP1 http://ezreendelailafyp.blogspot.com
PROJECT PROPOSAL1. Research Topic Homeless Voices2. Background At a time when more people are connected to each other than ever before, there is a growing feeling of isolation and insecurity among many individuals. Technology provides borderless communication among the people but it becomes obsolete when it doesn’t fill the gap in human relationships. Urbanized cities sets a benchmark for higher standard of living and the competitiveness leads some to take the desperate measure – being astray/ homeless.3. Problem Identification Unsent letters and unanswered calls, most of the homeless lost contact with their families and friends. Higher standards of living in an urban city leads them to the streets, penniless. Often by themselves, they have no one to talk to.4. Aim and Objectives - To highlight the lost hopes and secrets/stories they long to share - To create more awareness on the cause and effect of the homeless5. Motivation Just like the rest of us, they need someone to listen to what they have to say as well. Communication is one of the most basic human needs as well to stay healthy emotionally.6. Ideation & Concept User enters the space which has telephones hanging from the ceiling (to resemble hanging public phones). Each phone has a different audio playback, each tells a different story from a different homeless person, while some has an ‘engage’ or ‘unable to reach’ audio playback. Users can walk through the installation and choose to pickup and listen to any of the phones, having a one way conversation with the homeless people.
RESEARCH & ANALYSIS7. Review, Analysis and Precedence StudiesResearch on the homeless.Where are the homeless from? The vast majority of homeless people interviewed are locals. Over 70% of interview participants had lived in Metro Vancouver for more than 10 years. Less than 9% had lived in the region for less than 1 year.How did they become homeless? The top 3 reasons for ending up without housing were eviction, inadequate income to pay market rents, and the low quality of cheaper housing. Almost one third (30%) of the participants who were currently homeless said it was the result of eviction or a dispute with their landlord. Many spoke of their financial circumstances, and how the shelter component of income assistance was out of line with the rental market. For example, a 31 year old female who had been homeless for 9 months said: “finding affordable housing is an oxymoron for those on income assistance. Even with 2 people putting their rent together, you can’t afford a 1-bedroom.” Many cited the deplorable conditions in low cost market housing, such as SRO hotel rooms. Just 12% cited addiction as the reason. Other reasons included: end of relationship or loss of significant other; incarceration and release from prison; fleeing abusive relationships; illness; and being disallowed or cut-off welfare.Extremely few said they became homeless by choice. Only 3 homeless participants (less than 2%) cited personal choice as their reason for being homeless, dispelling the myth that people are homeless because they choose to be.Where did they sleep? While homeless, people stayed in shelters (over 90%), outdoors (over 84%), other people’s places (almost two thirds), and/or at other locations. Other places participants said they had slept in included cars, RVs, bathrooms, schools, tents, squats, ATM lobbies, churches, and a cement mixer.
RESEARCH & ANALYSISHow did they end up without housing?The reasons participants gave for why they ended up without housing were: • Eviction / Dispute with landlord • Financial circumstances: Insufficient shelter allowance / Loss of employment / Lack of affordable housing • Inadequate housing • Addiction • End of relationship / Loss of significant other • Incarceration / Release from prison • Fleeing abusive relationships • Illness • Disallowed or cut-off welfare • Personal choice1) Eviction / Dispute with landlord “They were going to raise my rent and I wasn’t going to pay it. And then I ran into work trouble, stayed at a friend’s place and … *ended up at a+ shelter” 48 year old male had been homeless for 6 months due to a “rental dispute”. Almost one third (30%) of the participants who were currently homeless said it was the result of eviction or a dispute with their landlord. A number of participants accused their landlords of illegal eviction and at least one said that it was “easier to live on the street.” Such comments suggest that the power that landlords wield over tenants can be problematic and open to abuse. One respondent referred to Downtown Eastside (DTES) landlords as “ghetto lords” and “evil people.” Several individuals suggested that an absence of respect and ethics underlay their landlord’s actions. A 50 year old aboriginal male who was currently homeless explained: “I got evicted. There was 15 of us living at the Rice Block and I got offered a room when the other 14 were offered a bachelor suite. I chose to be homeless rather than being demoted.” Problems with roommates, and roommates who don’t pay their portion of the rent, also ended in loss of accommodation/eviction for numerous individuals.
RESEARCH & ANALYSIS2) Financial circumstances: Insufficient shelter allowance / Loss of employment / Lack of affordable housing “Finding affordable housing is an oxymoron for those on income assistance. Even with 2 people putting their rent together, you can’t afford a 1-bedroom.” – 31 year old female who had been homeless for 9 months. Lack of affordable housing is at the core of homelessness and a significant number of those who were currently homeless said that the $375 shelter allowance that BC income assistance provides is insufficient, particularly if one wants to live outside the DTES. A 44 year-old aboriginal male said: “I’m on welfare and a bachelor *suite+ is at least $800. How am I supposed to rent a place?” Several individuals who had recently lost their jobs ended up in shelters. For example, a 32 year old male who had been homeless for 3 months said: “I got laid off and didn’t have enough hours on EI. I’m on welfare and I don’t receive enough money to get a decent place.” A 33 year old aboriginal female who had been homeless for 3 months said that she “relocated from the Interior a couple of months ago and housing here is too expensive.” A 23 year old male from Quebec was “picking fruit in the summer and now there is no work.” A 46 year old aboriginal male couldn’t afford housing outside the DTES and refused to live in an SRO: “BC Housing offered me housing at the Marble Arch but I said I didn’t want to live in the DTES.” A 38 year old aboriginal male said he was homeless because he was “having trouble getting on welfare – no ID, no references. So I’ve just been living outside for 5 year years.” A 52 year old male had been homeless for 6 years due to “financial circumstances – wage garnishee, not qualifying for EI” and ultimately losing and not being able to replace his housingReferences: http://www.gvss.ca/PDF-2010/Homeless%20Voices_Report_AUG2010_lowres.pdf
RESEARCH & ANALYSISBrief profile of the Homeless in Malaysia In term of ethnic breakdown, 53% were Malays followed by Chinese (23%) and Indians (18%). Malays were found mostly in Dang Wangi area. Dang Wangi is in close proximity with a Malay village called Kampung Baru and the famous Malay shopping center, Jalan Masjid India. The Chinese homeless favorite the Bangkok Bank because it is very close to Petaling Street or sometimes referred to as China town. The sample is reflective of the KSK’s database (ethnic Malay representing higher than 40% and the Chinese almost 40%) but was the reverse with the Social Department database (Chinese representing 45.2% followed by Malays 32.2%, Indians 17.7%, Sabahan and Sarawakian Bumiputras and others represent 4.8%). In term of age (Figure 1), respondents between the age 30 to 60 years old makes the highest percentage, and below 30 and above 60 the lowest. The youngest respondent was a 20 year old Chinese man, left home in 2009 to escape his abusive father. The oldest respondent aged 70, was an Indian man living with HIV positive. Generally, besides minor aches and pains, the homeless seemed physically fit (at least during the time of the visits). In accord with the Department of Social Welfare data that found generally the homeless are without any serious physical illnesses. Twenty-two (88%) (Table 1) of the respondents were male comparable to the DSW and MWFCD database showing that 85% of the homeless in Kuala Lumpur were male. The three female respondents were a lady aged 50 wanted to remain nameless, she has been on the streets for few months. She came to Kuala Lumpur (from Kelantan, located in the northern eastern corner of Peninsula Malaysia) in search of employment, however, only managed to secure an odd job at a night market in Jalan Bonus. The other two ladies aged 45 and 55 were forced to the streets because of addiction. Shop frontage with relatively smooth floor, covered by strong roof, secluded by sometime huge pillars is a “night home” for the homeless. This study found all of the homeless that sleep in these areas were male.
RESEARCH & ANALYSISAccording to KSK officials, female homeless usually do not sleep along shop corridors due to safety reason. This wasconfirmed by one of the female respondent, said that she shared a room that cost about RM30 to RM50 a night with fewother homeless women. Occasionally, when totally broke she will sleep in a temple compound.The other two female respondents confirmed the statement but added that sometimes they took turn spending their nightsin a friend or relative house.In term of literacy interesting to note that none of the homeless was illiterate. One respondent could read and write inIndian language. Fourteen (56%) has had primary level education, nine (36%) secondary education and1 person has had tertiary level education. In accord with the DSW, most of the homeless in Kuala Lumpur have attained atleast primary education (about six years of schooling).Of the 25 respondents, thirteen (53%) claimed to be single. Four said they were not married yet claimed having children.The denial caused by reflection of bad marriage or victim of abusive husband which to some was a cause of them beinghomeless. In line with Ravenhill (2008), family is stronglyassociated with feelings ofhome. Thus relationship breakdown represents far more than the loss of a partner; it also represents the loss ofstability, altered identity, ontological insecurity as well as the loss of home or the feeling of home.source: http://www.ijsst.com/issue/348.pdf
PRECEDENCE STUDIESExperience Mobile Mobile from James Théophane Jnr on Vimeo.
PRECEDENCE STUDIESTouch Screen Panel on LCD Monitor for Interactive Flipbook of the Homeless Interviewed
CONTEXTUAL STUDIESPersonal Context Full attention during communication is the key to understanding. If you dont listen properly, you wouldnt understand what its all about. I believe in this strongly as this was what triggered the idea of this project.Social Context When it comes to the issue of the less fortunate, we cant help but to feel sympathetic about them. Some may even feel insecure, afraid of losing the fortunate life theyre having now. A study on pro social behaviour of the community may contribute to how we can nurture ourselves into a more empathetic, less judgmental and kind human being.Cultural Context Public phones are mostly seen vandalized and unusable especially in an urban city like Kuala Lumpur. They became obsolete ever since the creation of mobile phone. Now that technology has provided borderless communication with smartphones, it becomes a trend that has changed a person to be connected to more people but at the same time shut themselves in a cocoon while in public places.
IDEA DEVELOPMENTTechnical Description1 Computer1 LCD monitor mounted on the wall1 LCD Touch Screen Panel10 Telephone Receivers with Extension Audio Cables10 MP3 Players, each playing a different audio fileTechnical Experiment