University community art project to help young adults express their dreams

Posted on Thursday 9th February 2012
threecubesjpGRAFFITIPROJECTIMAGES

Mohammed Ali's previous cubes of dreams

Internationally renowned artist, Mohammed Ali will be working in partnership with the University of Birmingham’s department of Theology and Religion and unemployed young men in Bromford, east Birmingham, to paint their dreams for their community during a week-long ‘Bromford Dreams’ mural project beginning on Monday 13 February.

Young, unemployed White and Somalian men from Birmingham’s Bromford estate, an area of high unemployment and deprivation, will be working alongside public artist, Mohammed Ali to complete the project. Members of the community will project their dreams onto a huge cube, 8 feet high and 12 feet wide, which will be unveiled to the rest of the community on Saturday 18 February. It is hoped that the completed mural will raise the profile of the Bromford estate in a number of positive ways.

The University’s department of Theology and Religion has been working alongside ‘The Hub’ youth and community project in Bromford since November 2010. Project lead Dr Chris Shannahan, Research Fellow in Urban Theology at the University of Birmingham, whose research focuses on the changing face of faith in the city, especially amongst socially excluded young people, comments:

“The creativity of young unemployed men on urban housing estates is often overlooked. Through this exciting partnership with the renowned street artist Mohammed ‘aerosol’ Ali and the Worth Unlimited youth project, the University of Birmingham has a chance to engage directly with youth in one of the poorest parts of Birmingham and, most importantly, to have real impact in the community through the creation of vibrant and challenging public art.”

Mohammed Ali has previously painted murals in major cities including New York, Chicago, Toronto, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Dubai. The finished artwork will be exhibited in different locations across the city.

Mohammed Ali explains:

"We have problems in our society, we see divided communities. It’s time to inject some creativity into our efforts when dealing with these issues.”

The Bromford Dreams cube will be unveiled on Saturday 18 February at 12pm at the Hub Youth Centre, Bromford during a community afternoon where young people will be talking about their work and food will be shared. The project is co-funded by the University of Birmingham, Arts Council England and Worth Limited.

For more information, please contact Dr Shannahan via c.j.shannahan@bham.ac.uk or 0121 414 7192.

Notes to Newsdesk

• There will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs during the unveiling

• Images available on request

For media enquiries, please contact Amy Cory, University of Birmingham Press Office via a.cory@bham.ac.uk or 0121 414 6029.