Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Reimag(in)ing Homelessness

23 November 2018, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm


Speakers: Sarah Johnsen (professorial fellow, Housing Policy, Heriot-Watt University), Anthony Luvera (artist, lecturer Coventry University), Mark Stuart-Smith (art tutor, The Connection at St Martin’s in the Fields) and Elizabeth Greenway (psychotherapist). Discussant: Lesley Caldwell (psychoanalyst, UCL Psychoanalysis Unit)

This event is free.

Event Information

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Thomas Morgan-Evans


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

This interdisciplinary panel discussion will consider approaches to the visualisation of homeless experience and ask: how can a psychoanalytic framework for thinking about this material help us understand produce new understandings?

The idea of being at home and having a home are ideas embedded in psychoanalytic theory and practice. However, while Freud’s paper on the uncanny or ‘unhomely’ has provided insights into depictions of the home in critical studies of cinema, race and art, this field has rarely been included in discussions of homeless experience. More often, homelessness is considered as synonymous with life ‘on the street’. Such a framework tends to disregard more dialectical questions about what ‘the home’ means and precludes our understanding of homelessness in these terms. In this discussion the work of the consulting room and the work of art are explored as one way towards this understanding when considering visual material made from the perspective of those experiencing being without a home.

Under the aegis of the IAS, the Psychoanalysis Unit, the Slade School of Fine Art and the Barlett Faculty of the Built Environment, this is the first part of a series on ‘leaving home’. Please contact thomas.evans@ucl.ac.uk for more details.



Professor Sarah Johnsen is a Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University.   Much of Sarah’s work focuses on homelessness, addiction, and related forms of street culture (e.g. begging and street drinking).  She has particular expertise in welfare provision for people with complex support needs, and ongoing interest in the practice and ethics of research involving vulnerable people.

Anthony Luvera is an Australian artist, writer and educator based in London. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the British Museum, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, National Portrait Gallery London, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, PhotoIreland, Malmö Fotobiennal, Goa International Photography Festival, and Les Rencontres D’Arles Photographie. His writing has been published in Photoworks, Source and Photographies. Anthony is Principal Lecturer and Course Director of MA Photography and Collaboration at Coventry University. He has worked with public education departments of the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, The Photographers’ Gallery, Photofusion, Barbican Art Gallery, and community photography projects across the UK.

Liz Greenway MA, MSc has fifteen years' experience in offering counselling to homeless people and reflective practice to hostel staff, across London in many day centres, hostel projects and NHS health clinics.  She also works as a psychodynamic organisational therapist, integrative psychotherapist and Cognitive Analytic Therapy practitioner in GP surgeries and private practice.  Additionally, her organisational consultancy, reflective practice and coaching work consider dynamic issues under the surface in a variety of sectors.

Mark Stuart-Smith studied painting and drawing at the Royal Academy schools and completed a PhD in the History of Art at Birkbeck University on the work of the Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz. Material from this and other research has appeared in articles in Art History. He has lectured at Birkbeck, at University College London and City Lit. Since 2001, Mark has been a tutor at the art room at The Connection at St Martin’s in the Fields, a homeless day centre in central London.