Commonwealth Games Festival: Birmingham hosts possibly the world’s largest family photo album

Julian Germain’s ground-breaking photography project, GENERATIONS, celebrates the diversity and heritage of Birmingham and Black Country families

They’re big on family in Birmingham, but now that traditional Brummie community spirit is being supersized – on giant billboards around the city.

GENERATIONS, a ground-breaking new photography project from Julian Germain showcases a collection of multi-generational family portraits from across Birmingham and the Black Country.

The images have started to appear on billboards as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, which leads up to the city’s imminent hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

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    Nadine Baker, aged 50, and her mum Katheryn Baker, 74, took the opportunity to share a selfie as they visited their family portrait, which also features Nadine’s daughter Amber Allan, 30, and nine year-old grand-daughter Kady-Rae Deeney.

    Generations photography project is part of the Commonwealth Games Festival

    The billboard, sited on Barford Street in the city’s Digbeth area, is one of the first to go up, and the family – born and bred in Birmingham – is among 30 taking part in GENERATIONS.

    Photographs of the families will appear on large advertising billboards across the city from Pershore Road to Coventry Road and Granville Street, rotating over the next four months.

    In addition, all 30 images will also go on display at New Street Station from June 1 until August 10. Together, they represent a celebration of the people of multicultural Birmingham.

    GENERATIONS is presented by the Birmingham 2022 Festival, supported by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

    Generations photography project is part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Festival

    About the Birmingham 2022 Festival

    The Birmingham 2022 Festival unites people from around the Commonwealth through a celebration of creativity, in a six-month long programme, shining a spotlight on the West Midland’s culture sector.

    Running from March to beyond the conclusion of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in September, the festival aims to entertain and engage over 2.5 million people in person and online.

    Delivering over 200 projects across the region including art, photography, dance, theatre, digital art and more the festival will embrace local culture and generate lasting change and a creative legacy beyond the games with funding to community led projects from Birmingham City Council’s Creative City Grants scheme.

    Major support has been dedicated by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Birmingham City Council and Spirit of 2012. The Birmingham 2022 Festival is grateful for further support from British Council, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, National Lottery Community Fund, Canada Council for the Arts, the High Commission of Canada in the UK, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Create Central, Creative New Zealand, UK/Australia Season 2021/2022, and Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee.

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