EXHIBITION REVIEW: Vanley Burke ‘By The Rivers Of Birminam’ (mac Arts, Birmingham)

Since the mid-1960s, Vanley Burke has photographed the Jamaican community in the Handsworth area of Birmingham. ‘By the Rivers of Birminam’ brings together 100 new and existing images for the first time, which explore the history of the Caribbean community in the city from 1967 to present day. Curated by Lynda Morris, the exhibition charts Vanley Burke‟s practice over the last 45 years, during which time he has produced what is considered to be the greatest photographic document of Caribbean people in post-war Britain, detailing the experience of Black people in  the UK and their community identity.

Not only photographs but also press cuttings telling the story of Jamaican immigration to Birmingham, tracking the story of a community that bring such a rich culture to our city. As a more recent migration to the U.K. this contemporary collection is both eye opening and meaningful that takes the viewer through a journey of the unknown migrant looking for a better life by allowing us to see part of their lives through their own eyes but in an environment that’s familiar to the a local Brummie.

Definitely a must see exhibition and best of as with all MAC exhibitions … it’s free! A piece of our history to help us understand the history of the people with live and work with more.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Eleni Kypridemos


VIDEO: The Jolly Boys “Rehab”

Now here is a cover version I bet you never thought you would hear: Jamaica’s legendary mento band The Jolly Boys have paid tribute to Britain’s own Jewish jazz Queen – Amy Winehouse!!!  Little more needs to be said – other than just sing and swing!

VIDEO: Gentleman ft. Christopher Martin “To The Top”

Tilmann Otto is better know as Gentleman. Having first travelled to Jamaica as a 16 year old, the Osnabruck born son of a pastor now names Jamaica as his home away from home. It is little surprise then, that Gentleman has also gone on to become one of the most celebrated German reggae artists of all time. Since his launch in 1999, Gentleman has entered the German mainstream and become a household name. His latest effort, which features Christopher Martin, is somewhat reminiscent of K’Naan who is currently riding high whilst waving his flag…

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