BIG ISSUE NATIONAL VENDOR WEEK
LEARN MORE
News

Meet Homer: The mannequin putting Big Issue vendors at the heart of Coventry’s City of Culture

Big Issue vendors’ stories and artwork are being brought to Coventry’s celebrations in the form of Homer, a tabard-toting mannequin

Big Issue vendor mannequin

Homer will be covered in vendors' artwork and stories as well as customers' appreciations during his whistle-stop tour of Coventry. Image: The Big Issue

Big Issue vendors will be popping up throughout Coventry’s City of Culture celebrations in October – thanks to Homer the mannequin.

The quirky art project will see the life-sized mannequin decorated with laminated real-life stories of Big Issue vendors from around the Midlands as well as paintings, poems and customers’ appreciations of their local seller.

The dummy’s run across Coventry is part of the HOME Festival, a celebration of arts and homelessness projects that kicks off on Saturday October 9 and runs for a week.

“Homer came to life as a result of Big Issue vendors’ ideas and contributions,” said The Big Issue’s Gabi Sima.

“Not every vendor that contributed to this project is an artist but vendors’ stories are all together a work of art of a hand up not a hand out. Homer captures vendors, stories, poems, paintings of people longing for a place called home.”

Homer’s first stop will be at Coventry Cathedral on October 9 as part of the Coventry Sleep Out with homelessness charity St Basil’s.

The mannequin, donated to The Big Issue by Mannakin.com, will then go on a whistle-stop tour of the city, taking in Coventry’s Central Library on October 10, West Midlands Police Museum a day later and a film night at the city’s FarGo Village on October 12.

From there Homer can be found at an Arts and Homelessness Summit at the Methodist Central Hall as well as a flash mob outside the Transport Museum on October 13 before returning to West Midlands Police Museum for two days.

Homer’s packed schedule will culminate in an appearance at the family day outside Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre.

The Big Issue vendor mannequin
Keep an eye out for Homer around Coventry between October 9 and 16. Image: The Big Issue

Coventry City of Culture’s Sophie George told The Big Issue: “We are thrilled that Homer can join us at Coventry’s first HOME festival.

“He will be very busy travelling between all our festival locations in the city and we are inviting members of the public to stop and take a moment to reflect on the stories, artwork and poems he displays created by Big Issue vendors from across the region.”

For a chance to run into Homer, head to the Coventry City of Culture website for full details of HOME Festival events.

National Vendor Week 2024

A celebration of people who are working their way out of poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Sarah Everard inquiry: Cops accused of violence against women must be suspended, government told
sarah everard vigil
Social justice

Sarah Everard inquiry: Cops accused of violence against women must be suspended, government told

Number of people sleeping rough in England more than double than when Tories came to power
rough sleeping
Homelessness

Number of people sleeping rough in England more than double than when Tories came to power

No-fault eviction notice periods must be increased to four months, government told
Protesters with coloured placards
Renters Reform Bill

No-fault eviction notice periods must be increased to four months, government told

Over 500 employers named for 'cheating workers' out of minimum wage – but it's worse than you think
Minimum wage

Over 500 employers named for 'cheating workers' out of minimum wage – but it's worse than you think

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Here's when UK households to start receiving last cost of living payments
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Here's when UK households to start receiving last cost of living payments

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know