We’ve all been there, we’ve all experienced that. That wonderful moment when you’re so excited…
Sleeping with a blanket made from cardboard boxes while your body is washed by the coldest rain of autumn when a cat which is as homeless as you is the only friend you have on the earth. Have you ever wonder what hides behind these people? Maybe there is more to homeless people than being homeless.
Pierre. French Artist
Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark, was having a cultural day with exhibitions, performances and concerts. I‘ll be honest with myself and every one of you, I was there only for candy cotton, one of my few secret guilty pleasures I have till this day. Boosted on sugar I was flouting around, meeting new people and… animals; who don’t like to pet little dogs of strangers? After few hours in the move, I and my new met friend Danny decided to move to the performers’ section and get some cultural aspirations. We found this little guy named Pierre among other performers while exploring the land of some understandable and not really arts. Pierre’s performance was from the second part of arts; nobody got what the hell he and some of his mates were doing but they were entertaining just with their existence. No real art needed.
I was staring at this puny, small man and his tired but joyful face. He was clapping louder than the majority of a crowd, gabbling something in French pretentiously. I asked Danny if this, seemed local cultural event, was international. After long monologue, it was perfectly clear that this was just local festivity and fancy looking French artists were nothing more than a group living on the streets of Aarhus. I put my ‘pink glasses’ away and started to notice that at first unique looking stage costumes where dirty and ragged, their faces were skinny and shallow and this odd show was a way to earn some money for food and a shelter. Danny mentioned that he’s seen it before many times as these homeless people were performing the only and the same ‘play’ on the main street all summer.
Pierre was obviously French man and was show-casting an odd invention – a theater in a box. It was basically just a large bus-size wooden box with little face shaped holes on the sides, all displaying small French titles above them. When the play started, his friends and himself would climb into the box but what followed I’ve never found out. They’d have hanged out in the box for few minutes, then climbed out and it was the moment when all needed to clap their hands like crazy… and that was pretty much it.
With my extremely flawed French skills; as English, Dutch, Swedish languages were clearly not understandable or not even heard for him, I managed to introduce myself and by tapping the camera, making a box-shape with my fingers in front of my face and pointing at him I ‘said’ that I’d like to take a picture. My intentions seemed to sinking for him.
He sat down on a small stool, assumed a slight pose and looked up at my camera with an awkward smile. I must admit, he was a true artist; not because of his performances but because of the way he acted. He put together few more poses for the camera as an experienced fashion model, and then his friend shouted something in French suddenly. He jumped on his little feet, waved at me and disappeared in the gigantic wooden box. It was a clear end of our short lasted, sign language based friendship. I waved back, hoping that he would see me through one of holes in the box; I guess he missed it.
I guess you’re not getting the point of my passion to communicate with homeless people as they’re just useless junkies who drink, use drugs, steal, and don’t care about anything including themselves. I don’t deny it; some of these stereotypes are more real than the reality itself. However, there’re some hidden treasures you can find only in the mind of the homeless. Nobody completely understands these people, and why they are homeless but the understanding or getting near it is the only key to appreciate every human being; no matter if he’d be living in the palace built from gold or a shack made from rubbish as you never know where you can find the soul which will be more worthy than everything around it.