Big Issue Vendor
ISSUE 1463

The rubbish pet portraits raising thousands to fight homelessness

Rubbish Pet Portraits

During lockdown, Phil Heckels, a bored father in Worthing, tried to encourage his six-year-old son to pick up some colouring pencils by drawing their own family pet. The picture was terrible but after he posted it on Facebook, dozens then hundreds of people got in touch with their own requests. Phil dubbed himself Hercule Van Wolfwinkle and started raising tens of thousands of pounds to fight homelessness with his awful art. As a book collecting some of his masterpieces is published, we present some of the badly drawn boys and girls

A history of race

A year on from the murder of George Floyd, society is re-evaluating its relationship with race. This month is the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the single worst incident of racial violence in US history that is still little known. Nobody knows how many were killed, but historian Scott Ellsworth is leading an excavation next month to find more victims. He tells us why lessons from the past are vital for the future.

We also have a piece from Chine McDonald explaining how the notion that Jesus is white is interlinked with systemic racism in society today. And with a new drama about Anne Boleyn casting a black woman in the lead, historical advisor on the show Dan Jones writes about why programmes about history have to speak to the times we live in.

Also inside

  • Christopher Eccleston tells is why he’s returned to the universe of Doctor Who
  • Away from the politics, we present eyewitness accounts from normal people caught in the Israel/Gaza crisis
  • The Thick of It’s Joanna Scanlan is this week’s Letter To My younger Self
  • Fact/Fiction finds out the true cost of the cladding scandal
  • Our vendor Josh in Bristol tells us how the community around him helped him off the streets
  • And although we started with rubbish pet portraits, we hear from vendor Slavi who creates amazing pictures and was inundated with commissions after his artwork appeared in the magazine!

Plus much more!

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