So here I am to share with you all the wonders of Brummyland! The place we all love to mock, the land of the country’s most imitated accent, is where I spent almost every Saturday with my folks as a kid and learned to love music and film and, most importantly, photography. England’s second city has gone from a rundown industrial centre to a city full (and proud) of art, culture, history and music.
Born and raised in the Midlands, I am seen as a Brummy by many but technically a ‘yam yam.’ West Bromwich is where I grew up, but spent almost every weekend in the big city, just 15 minutes away, so I do see the city as my own. But it wasn’t until I moved to Japan that I really appreciated home. Isn’t that always the way?
Now living mostly in London, I come home as often as I can. Friends and family are all still here, and a well-established and ever-growing arts scene. From the Custard Factory in the heart of the city, to The Public in my home town, there is so much going on to encourage every generation to get more active and creative.
Birmingham’s never had an issue with being creative. We have produced some of the best musicians in the world; yes, I’m going there. Birmingham is the birthplace of heavy metal—cue Wayne’s World-esque riff. Where would we be without Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and half of Led Zeppelin? And it’s not all about metal. How about The Streets, Ocean Colour Scene, The Editors or UB40? And with music comes all the infamous music venues (NIA, NEC, and Symphony Hall to name but a few) and festivals galore.
There are always those places that everyone goes to when you first visit a city and Birmingham is no exception. In 2003, the city got a major overhaul when the new Bullring Shopping Centre was opened. I’m sure many of you will recognise the big swirly, bobbled exterior that is Selfridges. (There’s a Lomography Gallery Store in there too! Why don’t you join their workshops this March?)
And everyone must see the Floozy in the Jacuzzi (officially called The River Goddess Fountain). This special lady sits in Victoria Square and has a special place in my heart; it’s where I shot my first ‘photo shoot’ (on B&W film). The Floozy hosts the famous German Market at Christmas and is surrounded by big screens for major sporting events.
We have so much happening in Birmingham other than bad accents and I’m looking forward to introducing the Lomo world to it all! With more canals than Venice and being the birthplace of chocolate as we know it (Cadbury), why wouldn’t you love the land of the Brummy!
See you around soon!