WAR was never my CHOICE
5.30 – 9.00 PM
Centrala and GRAIN Projects, have been working with young people from Ukraine, who settled in Birmingham just after the outbreak of the war. Over a period of six months the young people have worked with internationally acclaimed artist Mark Neville, attended workshops and made images that are a reflection on their experience, having left their homes to seek safety.
The photographs, projections and text have been curated to present an installation which is open to visitors on Friday 7th July at Centrala Space. The young people will be there to talk about their artwork.
The photography project has provided an exciting experience to work with an internationally acclaimed artist, develop photography skills and share their experiences and memories in a safe place. Themes explored include home, place, identity, hope, pride and separation. The Centrala youth club is a space and opportunity for the young people to come together, share experiences, explore working together creatively through collaboration and be a part of Centrala’s community.
British artist Mark Neville works at the intersection of art, activism, and documentary, investigating the social function of photography. Working closely with communities in a collaborative process intended to be of direct, practical benefit to the subject, his photographic projects have frequently made the places he portrays the primary audience for the work. In this project he has led workshops with the young people online from Kyiv. His recent activist pre-war photo book project, documenting Ukraine’s fight for independence, Stop Tanks With Books, was shortlisted for both the Arles PhotoBook Award and the Aperture PhotoBook Award 2022 and was voted The Art Newspaper’s best art book of 2022.