Thursday, 31 October 2013

Final chance to see Changing Bradford exhibition

Photo by: Hayley Sargent (New Focus group member)
Alas, all good things come to an end, including the Changing Bradford exhibition at Impressions Gallery, which closes on Saturday 2nd November, so if you haven't already been to see it, now is your final chance. The exhibition has attracted families from all over Bradford - and beyond! We have had some wonderful comments from visitors:

“ I adore this exhibition! I think it’s absolutely awesome, coming from a Pakistani background myself, its both inspiring / powerful / influential to see the images and information on paths of the people who are of a South Asian background living in Bradford. I saw the images from outside the door and instantly I was drawn into the exhibition. Also I was jealous I missed the workshops! This is by far my favourite exhibition.”
Exhibition Visitor, S. F. 

Habib Hussain (above) was one of the enthusiastic participants from Manningham Youth Project. He is featured here at the exhibition opening, holding the wonderful Changing Bradford book.

Photo by: Hayley Sargent (New Focus group member)
We are hoping that the exhibition will have a second lease of life and will be hung on public display at a local community centre. We will also continue to distribute copies of the publication to schools, libraries and community centres free of charge. (Postage may be payable.)

Dr Mohammed Salam, CEO of COEMO (featured right), was amongst the first to see the exhibition, which showcases portraits and interview extracts from 21 oral history interviews.

Monday, 7 October 2013

VIPs turn out to launch the book and exhibition

There was a wonderful turnout on Saturday (5 Oct) at the Impressions Gallery as around 120 people crowded into the Studio to help us officially launch the Changing Bradford book and exhibition. Welcomed to the Impressions by Artistic Director, Anne McNeill, the opening speech was given by Dr Mohammed Salam, Chief Executive of COEMO.

Dignitaries officiating at the launch included: Mr Zokey Ahad, Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh,  Major Stan Hardy, Deputy Lieutenant, West Yorkshire, Cllr Khadim Hussain (Lord Mayor of Bradford), Cllr Imran Hussain (Deputy Leader of Bradford Council),  and Cllr Imran Khan (Chair of COEMO). We were also particularly pleased to welcome Fiona Spiers from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Revd. Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford, Gerry Sutcliffe, MP, David Ward, MP, and Jawaid Akhtar, Deputy Chief Constable, West Yorkshire Police. Live music was kindly provided by Dr Gnanananda, senior student from Kala Sangam.

New Focus members, Aneesa and Nayaab, take a moment
 to enjoy the book before distributing copies at the launch.
Many of the people whose oral history interviews and portraits feature in the book and exhibition came along to the event and their feedback was wonderful. There was loud applause as group of young people from the Manningham Youth Group had their hard work rewarded with presentation of certificates by the Lord Mayor.

Big thanks are due to the whole project team, to the wonderful staff of Impressions and, yet again, to the Impressions Gallery's New Focus group, whose young members ensured the smooth running of the event.

The book - which looks amazing! - will now be distributed to libraries, schools and community groups in Bradford. Reference copies have been lodged with the West Yorkshire Archive Service.

The exhibition is open to the public free of charge until 2nd November.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Director of Oriental Arts features on BCB radio, Bradford

The Changing Bradford exhibition and book are definitely generating media interest! Yesterday afternoon Champak Limbachia, who is Director of Oriental Arts, was interviewed live on BCB radio, Bradford's dedicated community radio station. You can listen again by following the link to their podcast for Drive Time, Wed 2 Oct, the interview starts at 51minutes 40seconds.  BCB Radio interview. 

Champak was interviewed earlier this year by young people from the Changing Bradford project and his life story is featured in more detail in the Changing Bradford book. Yorkshire's art scene owes much to Champak who was the driving force behind the development of Bradford's famous Mela. He was the first to bring stars such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to the city.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Radio Leeds interviews Mr Shah Akbar

Anyone listening to Radio Leeds this morning will have heard presenter Wes Butters interviewing one of our oral history interviewees, Mr Shah Akbar, who came to Bradford in the 1960s to work in the textile industry. Mr Akbar's full story can be read in the Changing Bradford book which will be launched at Impressions Gallery this weekend. The exhibition runs until 2 November.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Local press showcase Changing Bradford

With the exhibition up and running and the book launch only a few days away we have been delighted at the level of press interest.

Regular readers of the Telegraph & Argus may have spotted this very colourful article which featured last Saturday, and the same article is now online on the T&A website.

We'll be posting more information on the blog about the exhibition and book launch over the next few days, and we will also be showcasing some of the oral history material and photographs which are not in the book.

Changing Bradford exhibition opens!

We said things would go quiet for a while while the team grappled with the problem of select material for the book and exhibition. Not an easy task when you realise how much wonderful oral history material and photographs have been collected. However, its is all done. In fact, as you can see, with support from the amazing team of staff and New Focus members, the exhibition is now up and running in the stunning Studio space at Bradford's Impressions Gallery where it will remain open to the public until 2nd November. Do come and see it!

Impressions Gallery is in Bradford's Centenary Square overlooking the Mirror Pool and Town Hall. Directions:

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Planning ahead!

The project team (L-R: Jen, Meena, Andy) get to grips with the vast quantity of interesting material from the oral history workshops. 
Although the blog has been quiet for the past few weeks, this reflects the fact that the main oral history workshops have now been completed. However, much is going on in the background as the project team progress the development of the publication and exhibition which will launch at Impressions Gallery in Bradford from 28 Sept. As 21 oral history interviews were recorded and multiple photographs taken of the interviewees, there is a lot of excellent material to choose from. Next week's workshop with young people from Manningham Youth Project and Impressions' New Focus group will have to make some tough decisions!