Franz Von - Nice Trip and Escapism
Nice Trip, homelessness and the cycle of addiction.
The aim of the song 'Nice Trip' was to highlight an issue that remains unnoticed by a nation that passes it by in the street everyday; homelessness and the cycle of addiction that creates a barrier to shelter, safety and stability.
The filming of the music video took place in Sheffield and attempted to show that opportunities are few and far between and when they do come along they are too difficult to hold onto for those without the stable foundation of a home and who are haunted by addiction.
The video included scenes of a social experiment that attempted to consider whether the response of the public would differ based on clothing that expressed the unhelpful themes of 'deserving poor' or 'undeserving poor'.
My experience was that I felt invisible, and particularly so when I was dressed down as a homeless person. However, I was inspired by the kindness of several individuals and heart warmed by the compassion shown by a few people who were themselves affected by homelessness.
'Nice Trip' attempts to paint a true picture of homelessness and remind people of the power and positive impact of displaying compassion to others.
In the last official count (reported to government in December 2016), 15 people were recorded to be sleeping rough in Sheffield. Although it is worth considering that counts are carried out in conjunction with guidance from the Department of Communities and Local Government to include only those who are found to be 'bedded down' (changed in 2010 to generously include those stood by a sleeping bag about to bed down).
Counts are not permitted to take place before midnight, and boundaries are agreed that do not need to cover every park or street in the local authority. This does not reflect the true statistics of homelessness as it fails to consider the extent of those whose basic needs for food and shelter remain unmet through sofa surfing or staying in unsafe places where they may face harm or exploitation just to have a roof over their head for the night.
It stands to reason that the true extent of homelessness is not promoted; when the issue is swept under the carpet it provides a silent deterrent about the consequences of non conformity within a capitalist system.
When people are informed of the true extent of homelessness in a way that is not blaming and explains the difficulties, it promotes people's humanity and their responsibility to stand up to those in power for those who are less fortunate.