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Get the lowdown on all of the latest news and activities for My Route.

12th June 2015

Vanley Burke photography exhibition for My Route: 13 June – 10 July 2015

Vanley Burke’s photographs documenting the social history of migrant communities are known and appreciated around the world. He has been taking photographs of people in their homes and places of work for the last 40 years.

The images in this free outdoor exhibition celebrate the lives and achievements of residents of Birmingham’s Stratford Road, encompassing Sparkhill, Sparkbrook and Hall Green. The pictures aim to capture the spirit and energy that has transformed this area over the last 50 years.

The pictures were taken in Spring 2015, in the homes or places of work of the people featured. Each picture has been blown up to around 3 metres tall and positioned on the side of Stratford Road Baptist Church and the former Hubb Community Arts Centre building (adjacent to the Aldi car park in Sparkbrook).

Alongside the photographs, sound pods designed by artist Brian Duffy play short audio clips where passers-by can learn more about the people featured in Vanley’s images.

The My Route Exhibition Trail is curated by artist and academic Tasawar Bashir, who has lived in the area since the 1980s.

It forms the finale of Sampad’s 18-month community heritage project, My Route, that has been researching and documenting the history around Stratford Road from the 1940s to the present day. The project has been supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Stratford Road is a key arterial road linking the heart of Birmingham city with the rural town of Stratford-Upon-Avon in Warwickshire. The landscape along this corridor has seen many significant changes, the most profound of which, arguably, have happened in the last hundred years. The post-war period saw waves of migrants coming to find work in Birmingham, particularly from newly- independent India and Pakistan as well as the Caribbean and Middle East. Many settled on and around Stratford Road due to its affordable housing.

During the course of the My Route project, 46 volunteer researchers and many religious and community organisations have helped the Sampad team to research life on Stratford Road.

From this research we have produced learning resources that will appeal to intergenerational audiences, one of our most significant being the interactive touchtable map that highlights key sites of interest along Stratford Road in each decade.

The My Route archive will be available for viewing at the Library of Birmingham from Autumn 2015.

See full My Route listings here

Featured photos, courtesy of Vanley Burke for Sampad.

Jossett Lynch

Photo by Vanley Burke

Jossett arrived in Birmingham during the 1960s from Jamaica. 
She became a school teacher when it was extremely rare 
to see Black women in professional jobs. Her husband set up one of the first home-based churches in Birmingham catering for the African-Caribbean community.


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