Published on April 10th, 2015 | by John OMeara



A group of young people from Handsworth, aided by older mentors, have been mining, delving, learning, sifting, re-creating and DSCF0794re-presenting the individuals and activities that made us what we are. So far they have come up with posters of 24 ‘personalities’ who were either born or lived in Handsworth, and whose creativity in industry, the arts and sport has had major impact not just locally but worldwide; each poster has a brief history with it. Even those involved found themselves surprised at who and what they found, as you will be when you visit the exhibition which runs until 26th April at Soho House (admission is free). We could have shown you the full array of exceptional photos we took of the work, but decided you should go and see for yourself. If you haven’t been before, you may also be surprised at the venue – several visitors commented on the quality of the space, and as one started into her third samosa she lamented how rare it was to be able to sit, eat, talk and dip in and out of an exhibition at will. This piece of work not only demonstrates the quality of what is already being done by different Handsworth DSCF0813generations coming together, but offers a tantalising view of the kind of future
envisaged by the People’s Heritage Centre project (see ): people of different ages from different cultural backgrounds collaborating to discover their pasts and translate them into a shared present and future.

The young people made the posters in workshops organised by Handsworth Creative ( at: Holyhead, Handsworth Wood Girls and Nishkam Secondary Schools, and at the Oaklands and Summerfield Youth Centres.

Steve Winwood 2DSCF0808








Image of Steve Winwood poster by Hunt Emerson


Also see Surjit Simplay’s short film:

New update: The exhibition of Handsworth Personalities pop posters has today (5.5.15) gone to Holyhead School, where it will be on show for two weeks for the pupils there. Some of the original cartoon portraits in the show were made by Holyhead students.

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