Some Cities Birmingham

some cities logo

The arts are a powerful, and often underestimated, positive tool to steer social change – that’s why we love what Some Cities do. This not for profit Community Interest Company focuses on how the arts can unite communities, and specifically the power that photography has to bridge social gaps here in Birmingham.

 

Their vision is to see Birmingham become the UK centre of photography, working with organisations and individuals, regardless of photography skill or personal background, on a variety of exciting projects across the city. With a whole programme of high quality training, seminars, exhibitions and inclusive participatory photographic opportunities on offer, as well as an affordable and easily accessible Dark Room, Some Cities is changing the way the people of Birmingham interact with the arts, each other, and our amazing city.

 

Not only does it allow amateur photographers greater exposure, but it offers a unique insight into our diverse, vibrant city, creating an extensive digital archive of life and culture in the region, and encouraging it’s people to share their untold stories and personal lives. From our urban city streets to stunning panoramic landscapes, the images shared via SomeCities really will change the way you see Birmingham and unleash a whole new level of appreciation and love for our town!

 

SomeCities proves that everyone can get involved with and enjoy the arts opportunities on offer in Birmingham, and that gets a huge thumbs up from us!

 

Check out their incredible work and get involved here.

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100 (and ten) Swimmers

The 100 Swimmers credit Attilio FiumarellaA big #BrumSpirit shout out to all the swimmers from across the city who took part in a one-off photo event as part of 100 Swimmers to  highlighting the plight of one of the Birmingham’s most important community buildings, Moseley Road Baths.

The 100 Swimmers, by photographer Attilio Fiumarella, was the completing instalment of the community photographic project entitled The Swimmers, which we were fortunate to exhibit  as part of Muzikstan Midsummer Festival in partnership with Some Cities.

The 100 Swimmers project, which took place Sunday July 20th and saw over  100 swimmers, photography fans, city heritage enthusiasts and community supporters fill the empty Gala Pool at Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath in reaction to the news that Birmingham City Council intends to close the historic building permanently in 2015. We have a huge amount of love for this project, not only have we been champions of the exhibition, but also the nature of the story itself showcases a great example of what #BrumSpirit means to us.

The project caused quite the stir  and became the third highest English story on the BBC News website…featured on the Daily Mail and even into the Scottish press – A big #BrumSpirit to that.  

Some Cities are calling out to everyone involved,  whether you participated, spread the love online or only saw the story in the press to get back together again to see Attilio’s photograph of the event. The image will be unveiled this Thursday July 31st, from 6.30pm, at The Old Print Works, over the road from the baths, and will have  Attilio on hand to unveil his image and discuss his thoughts  behind the shoot.  As will Stephen Burke, who like Attulio, was a recipient of the Some Cities bursary. 

Also be sure to check out the Italian-born, Birmingham-based photographer Attilio Fiumarella, and also why not contribute your own images to the Some Cities social project? The remarkable digital collection taken in and around Birmingham currently sits at over 100,000 images and can be of a wealth of subject matter. If your interested in sharing your view of Birmingham, images can be sent directly to Some Cities by email [Birmingham@some-cities.com] or via Twitter, tagged with #BrumSpirit and #somecities #brumfotos, and will form part of an ongoing extensive and authentic archive of life in the city.

 

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 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…