Housing Matters is a collaborative media project created by community engaged artists Patti Fraser and Corin Browne. Convened in 2012, with a community of 10 young artists, youth mentors, professional film makers, planners, activists and academics, the group created a suite of films responding to the lack of affordable, adequate and safe housing in the Lower Mainland. The first collection of films, Young Artists Explore the Housing Crisis, were finished in March 2013 and have screened locally and internationally.
In the fall of 2013, Artistic Directors Corin Browne and Patti Fraser shifted the focus of the Housing Matters Media project to begin to address the concerns of a constituency of young people who comprise 40% of British Columbia’s homeless youth. Youth who have experienced government care.
In partnership with the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth and Homelessness Initiative, the project instigated another community engaged media production project. In this phase of the project we collaborated with a group of talented young people, who had experienced government care or homelessness in a series of three weekend media production intensives.
In addition to the Artistic Directors, Jamillah Toure, Chak Estable and d. lee williams,three filmmakers from the original Housing Matters Media Project contributed their mentorship to helping the participants produce a series of six short digital video narratives in their voice and from their perspective.
These narratives become the digital centre pieces and offerings at an installation conceived as a dinner table, The 19th Birthday Party.
In the fall of 2015, The Housing Matters Media Project partnered with Vancouver Foundation to recreate the 19th Birthday Party Installation and train a group of young curators to host the installation for future community events and installations.
In 2015/ 2016, co-artist directors Patti Fraser and Corin Browne collaborated with Violet-Rose Pharoah, Sylvia McFadden, and Meengyao Liang to further explore the experiences of youth aging out of foster care and the ways in which the “public parent” or community can make important contributions to the lives of these youth. They met with, interviewed, and photographed seven remarkable and inspiring people who generously shared stories of relationships, connections and the adults that made a difference in their lives. The collection, entitled Portraits of Connection are short videos of these remarkable people and are moving testimonials of agency and of how support and connection can change lives.
The Housing Matters Media Project Goals:
a) To mentor a communities of youth in the practice and art of community engaged media production:
b) To create an opportunity for participants to first critically examine, and then artistically articulate the complexities and cultural importance of their perspectives with the aim of initiating creative responses to the housing crisis:
c) To create series of short digital videos and media installations that will be used to help shift the public dialogue surrounding youth and the housing crisis. The media may be used in a variety of settings: public screenings, community dialogues, conferences, and other media events;
d) To facilitate the potential formation of a group of informed youth housing advocates.
The Housing Matters Media Project has been generously supported by:
Housing Matters’ project partner is The Housing Justice Research Project at UBC, led by Drs. Penny Gurstien and Margot Young.
Thank you to the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, MetroVancouver, and the Housing Justice Project at UBC, funded in part by the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.