Sunday, 24 March 2013

Arts and Science Festival, University of Birmingham, 22 March

As part of the University of Birmingham's Arts and Science Festival, on Friday 22 March we welcomed people to contribute to the ‘Digbeth Speaks’ project at an all day, drop-in event which took place in Red Marley, 32 Pritchatts Road, the marvellous home of the university's Research and Cultural Collections. 

The inclement weather forced many to abandon venturing out, so Daisy, Carly and I decided that we needed to brave the meteorological conditions in order to gather information from the insightful, enthusiastic and albeit a bit cold, students, staff and other visitors to the university’s campus. 

Equipped with an abundance of sweets and chocolate, fact filled flyers, irresistible brightly coloured stickers and a professional, shiny recording device we trekked about a snowy campus asking willing participants to divulge their impressions, recollections and three word sound bites concerning Digbeth. A fruitful day was had. We collected many stories from an assortment of individuals. We spoke to those who knew the area only vaguely as a place full of vintage fashion and creative delights, to people who discussed the industries involved in the area. Additionally we received information from those who had visited the area some time ago: some were part of the lively club culture of the 1980s, whilst others had gone to Digbeth purely to marvel at some of the centuries old buildings there, waxing-lyrical about its architectural panache.

Hannah Squire, Project Volunteer

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