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Art Editorial

rsz_alexanderknox.jpg Stories of Emmaus

A film and online exhibition, which shines a light on the work of a North East homeless charity and its profound impact on the lives of the people it supports, is being premiered this month. 

The documentary, Stories of Emmaus and accompanying digital exhibition, Inside Emmaus combine to offer a moving insight into the everyday life experiences of those who have benefitted from the work of Emmaus North East.

The South Shields-based charity, which provides a home and meaningful work for up to 15 formerly homeless people – ‘companions’ - from the region, is one of 29 Emmaus communities in the UK.

The project has been produced by the acclaimed Amber Film and Photography Collective, which has been documenting working class and marginalised lives and landscapes in North East England for more than 50 years from its Newcastle base.

Filmed and captured during 2019, the process involved North East photographer and Amber associate, Paul Alexander Knox teaching a group of companions from Emmaus North East about photography and editing for an exhibition about homelessness. 

Paul was then commissioned to document life at Emmaus North East through photography while an Amber crew, comprising Peter Roberts, Bryan Dixon and Ellin Hare made a film alongside him.

Inside Emmaus offers an intimate portrait of the everyday experiences from within the Emmaus community at Stanhope Rd South Shields along with the industry and purpose of the charity’s training and workplace initiatives, designed to prepare companions for a confident future of independent living. 

The exhibition includes a link to Amber’s 35-minute film, Stories of Emmaus, which incorporates many of the photographs as well as the emotional testimony of companions, who share their life stories and hopes for the future.

The film and online exhibition, Inside Emmaus with photos from Paul Alexander Knox and text from his wife, Dawn Felicia Knox is now exclusively available to view online ahead of a live Q&A panel event at 7pm on May 6th.

For details on where to watch it and how to register for the Q&A, visit https://side-gallery-and-cinema.arttickets.org.uk or log onto the Side Gallery’s social media channels – you’ll find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.