The changes that the Balsall Heath neighbourhood have gone through are being explored by the local community and researchers from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University. Their Cultural Intermediation project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its 2012 – 2016 Connected Communities programme.
On Wednesday 4th June, the group is inviting Balsall Heath residents to take part in the heritage project designed to promote local ownership of arts and culture.
The meeting will also host a long-lost gem from the BBC archives called ‘A Touch of Eastern Promise’. This is a 30-minute drama first broadcast in 1973 and produced at Pebble Mill studios. The light-hearted drama is about a young man (Dev Sagoo) who dreams about a Bollywood film star (Jamila Massey) who he tries to meet when she pays a visit to Birmingham.
It was entirely shot in Balsall Heath amongst the local Asian community. Most of the actors were hired from the local area as well. You can read more about the film here.
This will be a really interesting event getting people involved in their local history. The first meeting takes place at Hillac Restaurant, 568-570 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath – on Wednesday at 6-8pm.
Other Balsall Heath things of note:
- Mahtab Hussain’s photographic exploration of inner-city Muslim identities is currently on show at The MAC as part of the ‘50 Years On: The Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies‘ exhibit. His intimate portrayals are a testament to heady mix of cultural/religious constraints and the evolution of a distinct urban culture
- Mohammed ‘Aerosol Arabic’ Ali has been using Balsall Heath’s urban landscape as his template for years. His Soul City Arts Hubb provides local people with access to empowering arts and culture
- Last year artists and Balsall Heath residents Elizabeth Rowe and Chris Poolman coordinated the Balsall Heath Biennale
- Ort Cafe at The Old Print Works continue to put on great exhibitions, gigs and workshops (see What’s On in June here)