Celebrating a decade of achievements with The Roles We Play

Dora Dixon-Fyle, Mayor of Southwark, and Seamus Neville, Roles We Play project participant.


ATD Fourth World, in partnership with artist and photographer Eva Sajovic, is proud to present “The Roles We Play: A Method of Genuine Participation”. This new report, alongside the film of the same name, traces the course of the project over the last decade and its attempts to provide a forum for people with experience of poverty to challenge the widespread negative stereotypes of their lives by giving participants the tools to speak out and have their voices heard.

In highlighting its different stages—from photo exhibition and series of residential weekends to participatory film project, full-colour book and multimedia exhibition— the report explores the impact of the methodology at the heart of the project, in terms of the creative work co-produced and the personal development experienced by people living in poverty through this process.

“Poverty takes away ownership of our own lives. Every agency we come into contact with has something to say about our lives as if we can’t speak for ourselves and are bound to fail. That’s why this project and this film are so important,” says Moraene Roberts, a member of the ATD Fourth World UK National Co-ordination Team and project participant. “Full participation is more than just turning up; it means being involved as an equal partner at every stage from inception to conclusion. To be in control of the texts, the images and the concept behind it all means this project is ours and not just an attempt to shape us to meet someone else’s expectations. We own it and we are proud of it.”

An excerpt of the report is here and the full report can be downloaded at the link below: