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22 October - 13 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Young Lives in the Spotlight: Poverty, Place & Belonging in Balsall Heath

Image of a street in Balsall Heath, Birmingham taken in the late 1960s. Image is of Victorian terrace houses and a corner shop with a bicycle outside.

My local area theme

What’s on offer?

This event, which combines participatory interactive drama, art and a panel discussion, is both an exploration of what it means to live in poverty and a celebration of place and belonging by young people living in Balsall Heath, an inner-city Birmingham neighbourhood which has a higher population of young people than the national average and is amongst the city’s most deprived areas but also is home to many communities with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Presented in collaboration with the GAP Arts Project, a community-based youth arts organisation located in Balsall Heath, this event will showcase the performances of local young people telling their stories of poverty, place and belonging. The second part of the event will be a panel discussion with participants consisting of an academic(s), a member of the GAP and a young person. The panel discussion will be interactive and participatory discussing and exchanging ideas about poverty, place and belonging.

What’s it about?

This event will engage with and provide young people from the Balsall Heath area with the opportunity to work with and be trained by drama specialists from the GAP to co-produce, explore and express the experiences of poverty, place and belonging in Balsall Heath through drama and arts. The event will also give young people the opportunity to be part of an interactive, participatory panel discussion to express their views and experiences.

The event therefore brings together local people, the GAP and academics who are interested in exploring the issues of poverty, place and belonging and are committed to improving the local area of Balsall Heath – an area which is home to communities stricken by social and structural inequalities based on race, ethnicity, class and poverty.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Ozlem Ogtem-Young - Research Fellow and Research Theme Lead (Poverty, Precarity, Savings and Debt) working on research on poverty, precarity, financial insecurity and belonging amongst ethic and migrant communities.

CHASM - The Centre on Housing Assets and Savings Management at the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, University of Birmingham.

The GAP - A youth arts organisation and cultural space based in Balsall Heath, Birmingham. The GAP is driven by its methodology and values to use creativity and culture as tools for making sense of the world and imagining possible futures.

Open to

Anyone with an interest in poverty, place and belonging for young people is welcomed to attend. The event will be a combination of drama and arts produced by local young people and a panel discussion.

Of particular interest to

Local people, students and academics