2012 october ig nm historical evolution of cultural intermediaries birmingham
Ian GrosvenorNatasha Macnab
Overview Scoping and data collection Birmingham City Archives closure likely to be brought forward from Jan 2013 Initial scoping of Manchester Archives
Issues I Periodisation:… every period historians identify segments the continuum of time … [and] there are continuities that connect the 1970s with earlier and later decades [Walker 2002: 8]. Movement – Ted Little: Brum, London, Brum.
Issues II ContextsPlace (Hayden & Massey)Cultural PolicySocial, cultural, economic and political events
Birmingham Arthur Young called Birmingham the first manufacturing town in the world„ (1791). Beginning of the 19th C, Birmingham industry based on a multitude of workshops using hand-operated machinery (Hopkins, 2002). „The city of a thousand trades‟
Expanded quickly in the 19th century, developing specialities in four employment areas: *Guns *Jewellery *Buttons and *Brass products Industrial sector in Birmingham and WM distinctive in the UK as it was founded on small firms with highly skilled workers
By 1950s Birmingham (and Coventry) fastest UK growing economies behind London. By 1970s employment in the West Midlands was directed in four areas of industry – *Metal Manufacture *Engineering and Electrical Goods, *Vehicles and *Other Metal Goods.
1970s and 1980s, Birmingham experienced relentless de-industrialization Lost 191,000 jobs between 1971 and 1987, which accounted for almost 30% of its employment total and almost 50% of all manufacturing service (Henry et al., 2002, p. 117; Spencer et al., 1986). The city‟s response to this employment crash was considerable investment in the service industries, especially business tourism (Henry et al, 2002). Culture and creativity key factors in urban regeneration
Migration to Birmingham 50000 45000 40000 35000 1961 30000 1971 25000 1981 1991 20000 2001 15000 10000 5000 0 Bangladesh* India Jamaica Kenya Pakistan Republic of Ireland Source – Connecting Histories
Cultural Intermediation 1955-1965 Many community organisations developed in response to the particular needs of migrants particularly in relation to the issues of housing, employment, racism and education: *Pakistani Welfare Association (1945) *Afro-Caribbean Organisation (1966). *Charles Parker involved with Harborne Players and CCARD (1961)
Cultural Intermediation 1975-1985 Political activism of 1960s, 1970s and 1980s huge impact on cultural activity. Wider manifestation of “arts for everyone” (King, 2004) - Democratising the arts. Chance to depict groups who would have been unrepresented or misrepresented. Community groups associated themselves with socialism and class/equality struggles.
Indicative CulturalIntermediation in Birmingham Birmingham Arts Lab Banner Theatre The Triangle Community Photography eg:WELDTen:8Trinity Arts
Community Photography &Cultural Intermediation Social issues, such as race, riots, gender equality, strikes, unemployment and deprivation were highlighted by community photographers. Additionally, the skills that were needed to take photographs were being taught in the community, making it possible for members of the community to become part of the growing community photography movement (James, 2002).
… community photographers continue both a photographic and communal tradition … we think that community photography can actively involve people in social change. We believe that it can be a vital step in taking control of our own lives. [Editorial Camerawork 17, January/February 1980: 2]
Structure I Documentary Photography 1930s-1960s Community Photography as Cultural Intermediation 1975-1985: Contexts Community Photography as Social Practice 1975-1985 Birmingham: WELD, Ten:8, Handsworth Cultural Centre, Born to Work, Vanley Burke & Tarik Chawdry Manchester: Daniel Meadows, Martin Parr, David Chadwick, Manchester Studies Archive
1976 Policy Selected Social, Cultural and Political eventsVanley Burke’s documentation of Redcliffe-Maud report Support for Formation of Rock against Racism to combat the rise of neo-the Black community in the Arts in England and Wales Fascism in politics and popular musicBirmingham, Handsworth from publishedInside, is exhibited in the foyer of theAlexander Theatre, BirminghamDavid Chadwick , Hulme Housing Death of Mao ZedongEstate photography project Rioting at Notting Hill carnivalNick Hedges Fellowship from West Arts Council, Gulbenkian First ‘Right to Work March’ from Manchester to LondonMidlands Arts Foundation and Community organized by unemployed Relations Commission commissioned report The Arts Britain Ignores by Naseem Khan published Minorities Advisory Service (MAAS) First issues of Camerawork, Artscribe, Arts Monthly and History established Workshop Journal published Peace Movement demonstrations in Ireland and England Sterling crisis forces UK to seek loan from IMF Anarchy in the UK released European Commission on Human Rights found Britain guilty of torturing internees Grunwick dispute begins with walkout of photography processors
Structure II Connections: Photography Workshop, Leeds Pavilion Project, Watershed Bristol Community Photography & CI in decline*Fragmenting of alternative photographing practice (access v representation)*Fragmenting of the left*Neo con attacks on the arts*Reduction in funding
WELD (WestminsterEndeavour, Liaison andDevelopment) 1968 Community arts project began as a small organisation based at Westminster Junior School. Sponsored by a range of organisations in Birmingham *The Inner City Partnership *The City of Birmingham Education Committee *Leisure Services Subcommittee *The Social Services Committee *WM Arts *Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust.
Ten:8 magazine1975-1985 (1979) Founded by Bishton, Brian Homer and John Reardon in 1979. Title derived from the standard size of photographic paper. Initially funded by WM Arts later Arts Council GB. Inspired by Camerawork, East London photographers collective. Aim was „to represent the working class and migrant communities‟ (Brittain in Dewdney, 2011, p.263) of Birmingham.
Discussion Points Level of detail? Breadth of coverage? Wider Context – what to include? Intention to track a type of cultural intermediary through three time frames eg Parker and Banner Theatre Birmingham; Community Photography through two time frames; CI which began in our third time frame eg Birmingham Opera Company? Manchester – same approach?
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