As you may know, my ideas for Birmingham in 2022 are focused around cultural integration. They explore the idea of arts and culture bringing about social unity, and allowing people the chance to stand up and confront the forces that really pose a threat to them. They are rather idealistic, but I also feel they are somewhat logical given the way the world is progressing. Anyway, I have posted below my short essay, and my attempt at poetry. Hopefully Alice’s work can breathe some more life into the pieces. Nonetheless, here are the latest drafts of them.
Note: I just grabbed a couple of the photos that were uploaded onto the Facebook group. These may not be the ones used in the end. I just added them to make the post look less boring. I think these ones are great though.
The city of Birmingham is one of the most culturally diverse in all of the United Kingdom. There are statistics to prove it. Look it up. The place known as the ‘Second City’ is a big player in our country. It boasts some highly successful educational institutions; its thriving economy welcomes huge high street retailers, but also encourages independent small businesses to grow. However, its arts and culture are what give it its true character and identity.
Granted, the city may have its problems. There are areas with high crime rates, unemployment is an issue and violent offenses are not a figment of the imagination or propaganda. Nonetheless, I think far too much emphasis can be placed on the negative, when there are a lot of positives about the complex demographic that makes up this great city. It’s culturally diverse counterparts have the ability to weave together sometimes, like a fascinating, engaging blanket.
The many different styles of music and artistic expression, brought about by the far reaching roots of its residents, give this place a soul that you just can’t find in every town and city. Some of the most successful artists in reggae, heavy metal and modern urban music hail from Birmingham. The city and the people who live here have an appetite for music and art that is just insatiable. In the beating heart of the city, it is never too hard to find something creative and expressive to entertain you, to intrigue you, or to inspire you.
My vision of Birmingham 2022 is somewhat idealistic. I find it inevitable that as time passes; the identity of all of our different histories will naturally blend together and become simply our new identity. Our home. I think it’s those unique aspects of our culture and our expression that make us so exciting and so excited. My forecast is one of sunshine, one of roses and one of unity. But, perhaps I’m just a naive idealistic. Only time will tell.
The streets are filled with colour again
Divisions are now wearing thin
Those who corrupt and those who distract
Are afraid of the future
But those with bold and open hearts
Will now let go of the past
Not forgetting but progressing
Life without hate can now begin
Thanks for reading the pieces. If you have any ideas on how to improve them (you must do!) please do leave a comment on here, or facebook or wherever. Thanks!