Birmingham’s young people share their thoughts, wishes and concerns for a greener future.
In 2018, young people across Birmingham were invited to share the green issues that are important to them, locally or globally, through the medium of photography. Collected through an open, city-wide submission process, the Green Lens competition was open to 16-25 year olds.
Organised by ecobirmingham in collaboration with Ampersand Projects, the works of eight young people were selected to be part of a final exhibition at Midlands Art Centre. The exhibition highlighted the issues that concerned them the most: the environmental changes witnessed on their own doorsteps and those affecting people and wildlife internationally. Environmental issues have a greater sense of urgency than ever, and young people stand to inherit a world that could be radically different to the one we currently live in. The photographs were accompanied by their own words and the stories behind the work.
“ecobirmingham is committed to and passionate about ensuring that a wider range of voices and opinions are heard in relation to environmental issues. This project enables the young people of Birmingham to send a clear message to policymakers, politicians and citizens that they want and expect a cleaner, greener and more sustainable city for their future. There has to be a shift in thinking and action, and the participants in Green Lens show why.”Michael Addison, Director of ecobirmingham
Photographs included those by Jade Tomes-Morgan, documenting the local natural space and wildlife in her local area that is being lost to redevelopment. Other pieces included work by Alice Evans, highlighting waste with photographs of clothing designed with plastic packaging, a reaction to an over-consuming world. Photographed in the city centre, the materials for the garments could sadly, have been easily collected from the streets below.
Laura Chen moved to Birmingham from the Netherlands to study. Fascinated by our industrial heritage, she has documented the effects of it on the city – areas like Digbeth, although home to much creativity, equally have many dilapidated car parks and abandoned buildings. Her photographs were taken on a disposable camera, a metaphor for the waste that’s disposed and spread across the city.
Further afield, Maniba Zariat has documented forgotten areas in Kashmir, Pakistan, highlighting human’s fleeting desires at the expense of the safeguarding of Earth.
Top image: Consumed By Consumption – Alice Evans.