Joshua Coombes ha da anni un profilo Instagram molto attivo: lui è un barbiere londinese, la sua è sempre stata la tipica vita del londinese medio e anche un po’ hipster. Raccontava il suo lavoro e la sua vita fino a quando non è apparso il primo hashtag #DoSomethingForNothing in questa foto:
Un giovane homeless, come se ne vedono tantissimi a Londra, a cui Joshua ha tagliato e sistemato i capelli senza chiedere nulla in cambio. Il tutto per dare un sollievo, per fare quattro chiacchiere e sensibilizzare su un tema fondamentale: fare qualcosa senza aspettarsi nulla in cambio, solo per il piacere di rendere felice qualcuno, anche se per poco. Comincia così una carrellata di volti e storie che sorridono nelle foto prima e dopo il trattamento speciale di Joshua. Ciascuno di questi volti nasconde una storia che Joshua racconta con delicatezza e sensibilità. Tra gli homeless ci sono ragazzi giovanissimi, uomini che non hanno avuto una casa e un lavoro per quasi tutta la loro vita, donne che non hanno più una famiglia e che dividono l’esistenza sulla strada con il loro adorato cane.
Il progetto ha avuto un grande successo sia tra gli homeless che sul web e l’hashtag è diventato non solo famoso, ma anche simbolo di un movimento gentile ha ricordato a tutti quanto un gesto spontaneo possa avere il potere di migliorare una giornata e dare vita ad un piccolo movimento senza urla, marketing o post virali.
This is the lovely Michelle. She has been homeless for the last four years now. Back in 2012 she lost her husband and told me that things spiralled out of control for her when this happened. Emotionally torn, she turned to drugs, drink and anything to ease that pain. She was really open and honest with me, saying that drugs have always played a role in her life but after this event she lost control of when she used. I could tell she is still trying to pick up the pieces and to move on with her life but she’s struggling. It was lovely to see the change in confidence during Michelle’s haircut, with each snip of the scissors she was more talkative and let her personality shine. When I was cutting her fringe, face to face she said “We’re usually invisible out here, but today I feel like people can see me” We parted with big smiles after spending an hour getting to know each other. Your time is the most precious gift. #DoSomethingForNothing
This is Waheed, from Afghanistan. He spent 13 years working with Lexus and Mercedes Benz in Dubai, before moving back to Afghanistan to set up his own business. When he arrived, he found his home town under siege from Taliban and Daesh. He was forced to flee with his pregnant wife. In Turkey they were refused work permits. Waheed wants to use his life-savings to start his own mechanical business, he told me he has enough money to do so and doesn’t need help from anyone, just the opportunity to start his own business. But, as he is a refugee, that is currently denied to him in Greece. His first child, a little boy, was born in Greece two months ago. Waheed and his wife hope to have the chance to live in a country which will let Waheed finally start his own business. Me and Anna @refuaid met him in Victoria square. The day before we spent hours here with families, talking to them and hearing their stories. We ran out of time and daylight for me to cut hair, so we decided to head back for a second day. The majority of those that frequent Victoria square each day are refugees. Some sleeping rough, some staying in camps outside Athens and others staying at the nearby City Plaza – A long abounded hotel brought back to life to house refugees. This is an amazing initiative that focuses on integration for them back into society. When I’d finished his Waheed’s haircut, it was great to see his smile in the mirror. He left soon after with a spring in his step, saying – ‘I want to go and show my wife how I look!’ #DoSomethingForNothing
Una foto pubblicata da Joshua Coombes (@joshuacoombes) in data:
Joshua Coombes su Mashable
Joshua Coombes su Instagram
Credits immagine di copertina: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/