Friday, 20 April 2012

English Accent, Irish Soul.

 I travelled over to Birmingham this afternoon to see English Accent, Irish Soul courtesy of Irish in Birmingham.

Birmingham is a City shaped by the diversity of its citizens, Irish foremost amongst them. ‘English Accent, Irish Soul’ takes us through the lived culture of the children of Irish immigrants. Covering 1960-2010 this exhibition shows how Irish culture has played a central part in the experience of a huge swathe of Brummie children.

The title of the exhibition caught my eye a few days ago when I saw it pop up on Facebook. Isn't that me? Isn't that some of you? The English kids of Irish parents sharing our memories of how we married the two worlds?

If you were brought up in the 60s and 70s, walking into the exhibition space at The Custard Factory today was like walking into your own living room. I didn't know any of the faces in any of the photos but they all could have been in my own family album. I listened to Brummies talking about Holy Communion, dancing, the club ( pop and crisps) and the Birmingham pub bombings knowing that I have heard those exact same conversations many times before. There was an overwhelming feeling of familiarity and cultural identity with a few quiet tears thrown in.

The project Co-ordinator, Michelle Aucott, was very helpful and kindly let me take these snaps.
It is on till April 28: do not hesitate to go.

If you'd like to be involved contact us on 0116 276 9186 or pop in to:
The Emerald Centre, Gipsy Lane, Leicester. LE5 OTB

Click here to view a map of The Irish in Leicester.

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