With October marking the 30th anniversary of Black History Month, visitors are encouraged to visit the last week of The Extraordinary Lives of Everyday People exhibition at Soho House, which features photographs from leading Black British photographer Vanley Burke.
On display until 26th October, the exhibition includes a selection of photographs from Vanley Burke’s ‘Rivers of Birminam’ series which chronicle 40 years of Caribbean heritage in Birmingham.
The full collection of 100 black and white photographs secured a permanent home in the city earlier this year when they were acquired by Birmingham Museums Trust as part of the Collecting Birmingham initiative.
Burke’s photographs are taken from a unique perspective; arriving in Birmingham from Jamaica in 1965 at the age of 14, he has experienced first-hand the changes in his community and the city. Images include photos from anti-National Front demonstrations and rallies in Birmingham, and Mohammed Ali’s visit to the city in 1983.
On display in Soho House’s community gallery, the exhibition explores the extraordinary lives of everyday Birmingham people and also features historical objects, such as the suitcase and letters of Mrs McGhie-Belgrave, a woman who moved from Jamaica to Birmingham in the 1950s.
Lisa Beauchamp, curator of modern and contemporary art at Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “Vanley is a remarkable photographer, able to capture poignant and arresting moments through the medium of black and white photography. His ‘Rivers of Birminam’ series is unparalleled in its recording of Britain’s Caribbean communities, and tells a story of Birmingham and Black British history that feels as relevant and important now as they did when the photographs were first taken.”
The Extraordinary Lives of Everyday People is the second in a series of exhibitions from the Collecting Birmingham project, which aims to enable the people of Birmingham to take an active role in developing a collection of museum objects that tell stories of growing up, living and working in Birmingham.
The exhibition is free to visit and the last chance to see it will be Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th October, 11am - 4pm. More information here birminghammuseums.org.uk/soho/whats-on/the-extraordinary-lives-of-everyday-people