Thank you so much to Willie Baronet for a spellbinding virtual installment of our Hard Conversations series. On December 18, 2020, Baronet, Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU, showcased and discussed his ongoing We Are All Homeless project. If you missed it, fret not, you can watch it below.
Baronet describes the evolution of this project in vivid personal terms on his website: “I’d pull up to an intersection and encounter a person holding a sign, asking for help… I struggled with my moral obligations… In my struggle, I avoided eye contact with those on the street, unwilling to really see them, and in doing so avoided seeing parts of myself. That began to change once I began asking them if they would sell their signs. My relationship to the homeless has been powerfully and permanently altered… I still wrestle with personal questions regarding generosity, goodness, compassion, and guilt. And what it means to be homeless: practically, spiritually, emotionally? Is home a physical place, a building, a structure, a house? Or is it a state of being, a sense of safety, of being provided for, of identity?”