Updated Project Brief // The Irish in Birmingham.

Clearly, it is evident from my initial proposal that I was more interested in looking at the culture of public houses or the Roots Reggae movement in Bristol. However, after researching into the Reggae scene in more depth, it became apparent that a lot of photographers had already looked at a similar scene, and I did not want to produce a project that looked like a copy of existing work. I therefore decided to turn my attention towards the other idea, which was the public house culture. I was already aware of the Irish Centre in Birmingham, and wanted to combine the Reggae idea with this theme. I therefore originally planned to document the Black Irish scene in England, but soon realised that this was a ridiculously niche scene to focus on!

Following on from this discovery, I decided to focus solely on the Irish communities instead, beginning with the Irish Centre in Birmingham. I went on an early recce trip to the city and explored the cultural capital of Digbeth, where the Irish frequent. It was only by chance that I caught the tail end of The Tuesday Club one afternoon whilst having lunch with my friend in the Centre. I met with Sister Teresa and she kindly let me make a portrait of her and her three friends. We talked about the Club, and she invited me back the following week to meet other members and to hopefully make more photographs.

The next week I caught an early bus to arrive before the Club began, and set up my camera. I was not disappointed with the number of Irish people who turned out. It was refreshing to see so many older Irish people with endless stories which fascinated me. I was able to make a series of successful portraits which have made the final cut, and also enjoy my time being at the Centre. As I have said previously, their hospitality was warming and really made me feel a part of the community.

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