Billy and Rolonde
A heroin addict, an asylum seeker, a homeless alcoholic. For over two years photographer and writer Len Grant joined the unseen and the excluded on their journeys of survival.
Barbara, a 70-year-old Zimbabwean asylum seeker becomes increasingly depressed as she’s moved from one shared house to another, trying to stay afloat on the £35 a week in vouchers offered to ‘failed’ asylum seekers.
Middle-aged Allan is about the same age as Grant but their lives could not be more different. Some weeks drunk, some weeks sober, only the support of a voluntary group keeps Allan from going under altogether.
Billy is now in his 30s and has been a heroin addict all his adult life. But he’s had enough. Taking Grant’s interest in him as an incentive to come through a tough detox and rehabilitation programme, he allows the photographer into his life before and after drugs.
In Billy and Rolonde, Grant starts out as a documentary photographer of the socially excluded but finds it impossible to remain an objective observer.
National press/media coverage: The Big Issue and The Guardian (March/April 2010)