A Gift to Birmingham


A Gift to Birmingham

This exhibition (previously shown at Ikon, 23 March – 3 April 2022), showcases photographic documentation of migrant communities in Birmingham, taken by renowned photographer Vanley Burke, in collaboration with Migrant Voice and University of Birmingham.

The display features seventeen portraits of members of Migrant Voice, a migrant-led national organisation with a hub in Birmingham. For Vanley Burke, it was important to portray participants in their natural environments, including their homes, community centres and parks, across the inner-city. Each image tells a story of migration, either recent or long past, with subjects accompanied or alone. Displayed together, the photographs present a portrait of Birmingham as a superdiverse city, with residents from many parts of the world.

The exhibition is accompanied by schools’ packs (Key Stages, 1, 2 and 3) for teachers and students to openly discuss sensitive issues and directly address conflict. Designed by artist educator Haseebah Ali, they include critical questions – on subjects of race, language, culture and religion – and creative exercises, allowing learners to express their identities.

A Gift to Birmingham was commissioned as part of the ‘Non-formal Intercommunal Education in Birmingham (NICE-B)’ project, led by Dr Reza Gholami, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race and Education, University of Birmingham.

Exhibition Details

Free. No need to book, just drop in

For access enquiries please contact learning@ikon-gallery.org


Saathi House

Saathi House, 49 Bevington Rd, Aston, Birmingham, B6 6HR



Read more
A gift to Birmingham with Vanley Burke
This Autumn, Ikon partners with Migrant Voice and the School of Education, University of Birmingham on a project with artist Vanley Burke.
Read more
At Home with Vanley Burke
Ikon’s 2015 exhibition, At Home with Vanley Burke, is an ambitious undertaking and will involve moving the entire contents of the artist’s flat in Nechells, north-east Birmingham, to the gallery. Burke’s home is extraordinary – a cabinet of wonderful curiosities.  You can help make the project happen by donating and you’ll receive special rewards in return.​


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