Young people in Birmingham explored their family roots in I-Land Life

Young person conducting interview

Heritage Grants

Birmingham, West Midlands
Friction Arts Ltd
For Friction Arts' I-Land Life project, young people from Birmingham's Five Ways Estate discovered stories of their families' heritage and migration to Britain.

Visiting the Birmingham Archives, the young people took inspiration from the original suitcase in which Jamaican migrant Vanley Burke brought all his belongings to the UK in 1965.

They took part in archive training and developed interview skills to use with their relatives. This enabled them to learn much more about their families’ heritage, focusing on migration stories from the 1950s onwards.  

The young people then chose an old suitcase and a range of objects to represent the arrival of their family members to Britain. They went on to create an exhibition and a drama performance to share the powerful stories they had collected with a wider audience.

Friction Arts are a participatory arts organisation with 15 years of experience making contemporary arts in real world settings. They worked in partnership with Birmingham Library and Archive Service. 

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