This exhibition previously toured community venues in Aston, Handsworth and Smethwick, alongside free resources for Birmingham educators to address diversity through teaching practice. To date, over three hundred children have used the activity packs, which include critical questions and creative exercises, to consider subjects of race, language, culture and religion – allowing learners to express their own and others’ identities.
A Gift to Birmingham was commissioned as part of the ‘Non-formal Intercommunal Education in Birmingham (NICE-B)’ project, led by Professor Reza Gholami, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race and Education, University of Birmingham.
This exhibition is presented as part of The Migrant Festival 2023.
Ikon has, in collaboration with Professor Reza Gholami, University of Birmingham, used the materials to create a set of 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 own and others’ identities.
About the artist
Vanley Burke (b. 1951) is often described as the ‘Godfather of Black British Photography’: an artist, photographer and curator whose archive, surveying the Black British experience, is held at the Library of Birmingham. His exhibition, At Home with Vanley Burke, took place at Ikon Gallery in 2015. Arriving in Britain in 1965, Burke has documented the experience of black people in the UK for decades, producing what is regarded to be the greatest photographic record of African Caribbean people in post-war Britain. A Gift to Birmingham was previously exhibited at Ikon Gallery in March-April 2022.
3 Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2DR
1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace
Birmingham, B1 2HS
Ikon is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Birmingham City Council.
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