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“Shame dies when stories are told in safe places.”


Please join us for ‘The Lived Experience of Addiction’, an exhibition of photography and stories by people who have experienced addiction. The project highlights the experiences of three groups of Merchants Quay Ireland clients: people who are homeless, in active addiction; people in recovery; and the family members coping with loved ones in addiction.

The exhibition pieces were captured through a participatory photography method known as ‘photovoice’. Through photography and group discussion, photovoice allows people to explore the emotions and experiences that have guided their photography.

This project provides an alternative platform for people who are often silenced or marginalised in society to express themselves, and hopes to shed light on the reality of addiction – and in doing so to increase the sense of compassion and empathy all of us in society have for people who are affected by it.

This exhibition is an initiative of Merchants Quay Ireland, the national homeless and addiction charity. The project was expertly facilitated by Dr Maria Quinlan (UCD) and visual artist Patrick Bolger.


Copper House Gallery,
19 St Kevin’s Cottages, Off Synge Street,
Dublin 8 D08 EE73

Directions here.

Saturday March 7th  11am – 5pm (MQI staff will be there for the day on Saturday, we’d love to see you!)
Monday March 9th – Wednesday March 11th  9.30am – 5.30pm


Later this year, the exhibition will travel throughout Ireland. Please check back here for more information over the coming weeks.