Birmingham 2022 Festival presents a China Plate and Birmingham Hippodrome project

Soho Settlers

Take in new places and hear new voices with a co-created digital walk of Handsworth.

A man speaking into a microphone, wearing a reflective jacket.

"I enjoyed going on the tour of the Soho Rd with Black Heritage Walk Network because it brought back a lot of pleasant memories of the Soho Rd. The memories workshop with Overhear was very enjoyable listening to other people's experiences of the area."

Bus Boycott Block Party attendee

A man with brown hair wearing glasses, not looking directly at the camera.

Soho Settlers

By Black Heritage Walks Network & Overhear

In honour of all of those who have chosen the Soho Road and Handsworth as their home, Black Heritage Walks Network will be inviting residents to join them on curated walks of the area – highlighting the local heritage and landmarks – whilst asking them to consider their own connection to that place.

Subsequent memory sharing and creative writing workshops led by Overhear will give participants the opportunity to co-create and transform their stories into a collection of audio poems. These will be digitally pinned to real-life locations using the Overhear app, that users can collect by exploring Handsworth and its history of migration (think ‘Pokemon Go’ for poetry!)

Whether experienced in a park, a housing estate or a bus stop, audiences will be encouraged to pause, listen, reflect, and ultimately celebrate the vibrant super-diverse community that calls Handsworth home.

For more information about the Birmingham 2022 Festival, please visit:

Generously supported by Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Transport for West Midlands and National Express West Midlands.

Image © Ahsen Sayeed

Get Involved

We are excited to announce 5 poets; Ryan Sinclair, Cassandra Wiggan, Charis McRoberts, Rick Sanders and Adjei Sun; will be commissioned to write and record a piece for Soho Settlers. Each poet has a connection to Handsworth and will respond to the stories and memories shared by residents in workshops with Black Heritage Walks Network and Overhear. Their audio pieces will then be produced to be pinned along a set route on the Overhear App. Interested to get involved?

Our next Soho Settlers workshop is on Tuesday 3rd May at Handsworth Library from 2-5pm.

Starting with a walk around the area, then coffee, cake and a catch up, we want to hear from Handsworth residents, what it was like for you and your families, when you came to settle in the area! No preparation or experience required, just bring yourselves and your stories to the library.

Want to know more? Please get in touch with our Associate Producer Jade Samuels at 


A man and two women looking directly at the camera and smiling.

Black Heritage Walks Network

Read more
  • Commissioned Artist | Black Heritage Walks Network
  • Commissioned Artist | Overhear
  • Associate Producer | Jade Samuels
  • Producers | China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome

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