The 100 Swimmers – Attilio Fiumerella

100 Swimmers

Here is an idea which has caught our attention for not only being the embodiment of #BrumSpirit but also because we were lucky enough to feature the exhibition “The Swimmers” by Attilio Fiumarella in collaboration with Some Cities at the Muzikstan Midsummer Festival, which took place June 28th at the Old Print works.

The 100 Swimmers event is calling on you kind people of Birmingham, in reaction to the news that Birmingham City Council intends to close the Moseley Road Baths permanently in 2015, following the opening of a new sports facility.

As a form of dissent against its closure, The 100 Swimmers would like to gather, as the name would suggest, 100 Swimmers inside the Gala Pool and immortalise them as the Terracotta Army in a magnificent and powerful picture. It will be the last image of the photographic project “The Swimmers”, developed during the last year in the Moseley Road Baths.

The 100 Swimmers will happen Sunday July 20th from 10 AM in the Moseley Road Baths, Brummies If you would like to get involved, send a confirmation to the following email address: the100swimmers@gmail.com

Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit and stand with the other 99 swimmers!

Q & A With Sophie Handy

We caught up with Sophie Handy, the founder of Crafty Business, and Muzikstan torchbearer  ahead of this Saturdays Mid Summer Muzikstan edition.sophie handy

Name: Sophie Handy

Occupation: Community Artist, Organiser at Muzikstan.

From: Shropshire

Live: Birmingham

Q) Tell us about Muzikstan, what’s your involvement? 

We were living at The Old Print Works when Zirak started Muzikstan in the Directors Lounge in March 2012, he was organizing some amazing acts literally in our living room. He started talking about doing a festival in the August and encouraged us to get involved and we have been ever since. The festival was a huge success and a turning point as the growing crowd were no longer going to fit in the lounge.

When Zirak left Birmingham in the November we took the torch and been rolling with it ever since. Muzikstan is a collective of musicians and music lovers alike and with a love for live music so prominent in Birmingham- it has been a pleasure to host such an eclectic range of gigs.

Q) What can people expect from Muzikstan?

After two years of biweekly live music nights we have been focusing our energies on bigger events, continuing to bring people together through a mutual appreciation of great music. More of the same- plus I think it’s about time we got the big orange tent out again!

Q) What made you decide on the lineup/outline of the day?

 

The lineup for this event was a collection of decisions as we are working with Brum Spirit, Birmingham Promoters and Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham (CSB). We have done a couple of events with CSB before and love the acts they support so making our selection was easy- Kadialy Kouyate sounds amazing and we are delighted he and his band can join us. The Dirty Old Folkers are local champions and likewise we were really chuffed to see them confirmed. Muzikstan has always been about that mixture of cultures and sounds and this really is a treat for us. Mama Matrix played at our Christmas party in 2012 and Daz and Anne are ace, the Voices Together Community Choir seems to resonate the vibe of collaboration and making music accessible so again- top result thanks to Brum Spirit. The Mistakings are fresh and soulful and I think will go down a storm, I just caught the last chord of Tom Peel at Lunar Festival, but judging by the expressions on everyone’s faces, I think we could be up for a few smiles.

Q) Why The Old Print Works?

This is where it all began and we love making it look like home! The space is better than a blank canvas- it has a great vibe and easily takes on every colour we can throw at it. It has the openness of a warehouse so you can get a good crowd in with lots of room to dance and it still feels intimate.

Q) What is the best part about working in Birmingham?

The music scene in Birmingham is phenomenal. There is so much talent about we are very very lucky.

Q) The worst?

There’s so much to do, I don’t have time to leave!

Q) What is your favourite place in Birmingham?

Round the fire at Muzikstan!

Q) What one thing would you change about the city? 

If everyone had shoes like Dorothy then we wouldn’t need cars!

Q) Favourite Brummie saying?

Not sure I’ve been here long enough…

Q) What is Brum Spirit? What does it mean to you?

I think Brum Spirit is the amalgamation of good energies that occur when people are having an excellent time together, whether it’s at a gig, in your friend’s back garden, wherever- the reason it has a name is because in Birmingham this happens a lot. There are so many good people about- the vibe is always hearty.

Q) What has happened recently that gave you Brum Spirit?

Watching the lead singer from Polyphonic Spree stop mid-set at Lunar Festival to give a special thank you to the man from the “Meat Shack” burger van for giving him his last burger- having just lovingly prepared it for himself!

Q) Tell us about your creative goals for the next year, what do you have bubbling away? 

To get Crafty Business established- I’d like to support local artists including myself, to sustain a regular program of arts and crafts workshops which are accessible to local people. Providing the opportunity for people to be creative, try new things and inspire each other.  I’d also like to paint a mural at The Old Print Works, make some wacky lighting sculptures and I’d like have a go at some stained glass work.  Last but not least, do more jam sessions!

Q&A With Dan Burwood

We were lucky enough to catch up with the very talented Dan Burwood, who co-runs Some Cities – the city-wide photography social project and  The Darkroom, based in The Old Print Works – take a little look at all the great things Some Cities will be bringing to Muzikstan this Saturday!

Dan

Name: Dan Burwood

Occupation: Photographer / Some Cities Director / Teacher

From: Swansea/ Aylesbury

Live: Brum / on the canal in a boat

Tell us about Muzikstan?

It’s a movement of music transcending borders and boundries / one of the first cultural events to make good and consistent use of the Old Print Works space. It’s a great, friendly night out.

Q) What’s your involvement in Muzikstan? 

I’m running photography workshops and making Instant-ish portraits

Q) What can people expect from Muzikstan?

A wide range of good vibes, interesting and creative activities, varied grass roots music and great people of all ages.

Q) What made you decide on the lineup/outline of the day?

I have a studio/ project space at the OPW; The Instant-ish photography workshop I run is a great intro into analogue photography, it’s fun and a bit of a spectacle to boot. You can turn around an analogue portrait in ten minutes, using a 1940s camera and 100 year old technology.

Q) Why The Old Print Works?

The Darkroom found a natural home here; there were darkrooms here before for the processes used to make the decals and transfers Butchers Printed Products designed and printed for the trades of the city and beyond. I’ve repurposed some of the kit and one of the original spaces to create a community photography resource specialising in analogue process, one of the few left in the UK.

Q) What is the best part about working in Birmingham?

The accents of the people who live here; the diversity and the unexpected discoveries. The cultural heritage: Balsall Heath was an important centre for Surrealism; Steel Pulse and Black Sabbath.. what more could you ask for?

Q) The worst?

The constant – if diminishing – need for certain spokespeople for the city to apologise for it and compare it to other places. All this world city shit. It just is itself alright get the fuck over it!

Q) What is your favourite place in Birmingham?

Dad’s lane allotments / Icknield Port canal loop on a misty November evening / The Lamp Tavern

Q) What one thing would you change about the city?

Add a proper river

Q) Favourite Brummie saying?

Everything anyone says

Q) What is Brum Spirit? What does it mean to you?

It’s the roots, the counterculture, the number 11…

Q) What has happened recently that gave you Brum Spirit?

Photographing The Feast Project’s inaugural awards ceremony in the Council House

Q) Tell us about your creative goals for the next year, what do you have bubbling away?

Big plans for long form photographic commissions, international exchanges and residencies through the Some Cities site, and collaborations with various institutions…

Q & A With Carlo Solazzo

Birmingham Promoters

 

We caught up with Carlo Solazzo, from Birmingham Promoters to talk Brum, Muzikstan and more!

Name: Carlo Solazzo

Occupation: Music Promoters

From: Solihull, Birmingham

 Live: Moseley, Birmingham

Q) Tell us about Muzikstan:

A) A collaboration of music from different genres coming together in Birmingham’s multi-cultural Balsall Heath suburb.

Q) What’s your involvement in Muzikstan? 

One of the promoters on board this years event.

Q) What can people expect from Muzikstan?

A) A independent multi-cultural bringing together of art, music, food & drink.

Q) What made you decide on the lineup/outline of the day?

A) For my part, I just wanted to bring something fun and not too serious to an already very strong lineup.

Q) Why The Old Print Works?

A) It represents what Birmingham used to be and in parts still is. An industrial cauldron which inspires many people still. When I was shown round the building for the first time I was amazed by how some of the spaces had not even been touched in years. The place should me a museum so let’s make the most of it whilst we can.

Q) What is the best part about working in Birmingham?

It’s where I was born and brought up, so it’s great to hopefully be giving something back.

Q) The worst?

A)The curries of course 😉

Q) What is your favourite place in Birmingham?

A) Anywhere that my friends are, which is usually in and around Digbeth.

Q) What one thing would you change about the city?

A) The way it seems funding works – doesn’t seem to be easily available to independent people that can potentially help the city move forward the most.

Q) Favourite Brummie saying?

A) Keep Right On

Q) Tell us about your creative goals for the next year, what do you have bubbling away? 

A) Next year is all about keeping strength and looking for opportunities to slowly expand. Hopefully next year’s Muzikstan can be a part of that.

Q&A With Kadialy Kouyate

The very talented musician, Kadialy Kouyate will be joining us at Muzikstan Midsummer Festival, June 28th at the Old Print Works, to share his music inspired by the West African griot – why not check out Kadialy’s music here whilst reading this Q & A ahead of his performance. Kadialy-Kouyate

Name:  Kadialy Kouyate

Occupation: Musician

From: Senegal

Live: In London

Q) What makes you proud about where you are from?

A) The hospitality

Q) If you could change one thing about your hometown what would it be?

A) Poverty

Q) Who influencers you most in:

Life:  Hard working people

Music: Dedicated musicians

Art: The natural side of it

Q) How would you describe your genre of music?

A)World music

Q) What’s your involvement in Muzikstan?

A) Sharing my tradition and my musical knowledge with everybody.

Q) What can people expect from your involvement on the day?

A) Happiness and joy

Q) What is the best part about your job?

A) putting a smile on people face

Q) The worst?

A) Failure to satify the audience

Q) What would you be doing if you weren’t doing your current job?

A) A dancer

Q) Where is the best place you have ever visited? Why?

A) Asuncion in Paraguay. Because of the reach musical culture of the harp embraced by everybody.

Q) What is the best part about performing in Birmingham?

A) The love from the audience

Q) Where is your favourite place where you are from?

A) Kolda

Q) Where is the best place you have performed so far?

A) In Moscow

Q) What gives you pride in where you are from?

A) The meaning of socialising

Q) Whats your favourite saying where you are from and what does it mean?

Asalamou Aleikou and it means peace be with you

Q) What is Brum Spirit? What does in mean to you?

A) Will answer that after the experience.