Archive for July, 2009
Coverage of the official graffiti bus tour of the graffiti walls in Birmingham, to 35 international academics and activists…
The International Summer School on Religion and Public Life is used to meeting in Sarajevo, Istanbul or Jerusalem. But this year, they’re coming to Birmingham to learn how people with very different political ideas, moral beliefs and communal loyalties can live and work together in their local neighbourhoods.
Fellows from Bulgaria, Tajikistan and Serbia are spending an intensive 10 days with Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims, Chilean Catholic missionaries and Brummie community organisers. In all we are thirty five activists, academics and religious leaders from sixteen different nations including Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and people of no faith.
The focus in the school is not what we all have in common, but how we deal honestly with radical difference. It’s not about chatting over tea in our temples but about tackling crime and building flourishing neighbourhoods at street level. Hosted by Birmingham University and the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group, much of the school takes place in different Birmingham neighbourhoods.
On Wednesday 15th July at 2pm, Birmingham-based spiritual graffiti artist, Mohammed Ali, will be leading a mini-bus tour of the trail of murals he has created across the city of Birmingham. The acclaimed artist, who was recently awarded the 2009 ITV South Bank Show Awards’ Diversity award, has created his murals in cities such as New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur and Toronto. His work has been reported widely by global media, and described as a bridge of understanding between faith communities.
He will deliver a talk, entitled “Can Graffiti Art Really Change the World?” at the Springfield Centre attached to St Christopher’s Church. He will continue on his alternative guide to Birmingham, presenting the various vibrant street-art murals across the city to the group of international guests. He will explain some of the concepts he presents within his work, which are often common values to people of all faith, as well as political themes, with his recent murals which responded to the recent Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
We would like to invite you to join us at the Springfield Centre*, to meet members of the Summer School and hear Muhammad Ali, before joining us on-board the bus to film fellows experiencing this unique mural-tour.
*Note: The Springfield Centre is a faith based Children’s Centre on Springfield Road, B13 9NY opened last November by Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Further information from Toby Howarth, the Bishop of Birmingham’s Inter Faith Adviser on 07811 467 999.
A little promo video we filmed Sunday 4th July, at 2am! Right in the middle of a busy Kuala Lumpur street underneath the twin towers… The tour kicks off soon, beginning at 11am.. spread the word if your in KL, or know people there…