Birmingham 2022 Festival presents a China Plate and Birmingham Hippodrome project

We Still Here

A Creative City Project generously supported by Birmingham City Council.

#WeStillHere
An orange banner reading 'it was a beautiful day... nothing to worry about at all'

"As founder of Birmingham Artivistas, a collective of female identifying artists who use creativity for social and political change, I subscribe to the mantra “Art Changes People, and People Change the World"

Jane Thakoordin

A banner which reads 'Black people were scared to speak up then not now. The system got us like we don't exist. Looking at us like we are scummage. But we are fighting back'

We Still Here

By Jane Thakoordin

Behind every famous inspirational figure in the UK civil rights movement are everyday people calling for social change.

China Plate is working with Participatory Artist, Jane Thakoordin, to combine crafts and activism together. While we may sign petitions or send letters – Jane is inspired by the resurgence of the handmade political banner for marches. She will be working with groups of Ladywood residents to chat, connect, and sew their own textile banners. Each banner will contain a message that shows how “We Still Here” because our communities are made of brave people who work together to make the world around them, better.

The textile banners won’t be put behind a glass case in a museum because in 2022, we are still protesting for our rights. Since they will be used, the banners will be displayed in community hubs.

This project builds on Jane’s initial commission for the Bus Boycott Block Party where she debuted the first of her textile banners. The first banners reflected both the conversations she had with local residents and her inspiration from the grass roots activism behind the Bristol Bus Boycott. The camaraderie between school children, students, unions, and other members of the public is one that Jane will be trying to capture for “We Still Here.”

For more information about the Birmingham 2022 Festival, please visit: birmingham2022.com/festival/

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

Now booking

Celebrating the everyday people behind social change and the UK civil rights movement

Be the first to see We Still Here!

Debuting at To The Streets! in Handsworth Park in Birmingham on the 19 & 20 August – book tickets to see the exhibition here.

Over the past year, Jane has worked with the following groups: who either live in or have strong connections to Ladywood and the surrounding area; to make their own protest textile banner.

  • BID Services
  • Incredible Surplus and Places of Welcome
  • National Express West Midlands’ Bus Drivers
  • St John’s & St Peter’s C of E Academy
  • West Indian Peoples Progressive Association

Together they shared food, chatted, connected, and sewed.

Each of the 8 banners contains slogans which distil the stories of quiet and loud activism in North Birmingham that were shared around the table.

After the debut of these banners at To The Streets in Handsworth Park, they will return to the community groups they belong to. These banners are meant to be used because activism can’t be deadened, archived, or put behind a glass case. We’re still fighting for our rights today.

For more information, please visit: tothestreets.co.uk/we-still-here/

Creative Team

A woman with tied up pink hair smiling directly at the camera.

Jane Thakoordin

Jane is a participatory artist whose work is always created in collaboration with others.

Read more
  • Commissioned Artist | Jane Thakoordin
  • Associate Producers | Aksana Khan & Jade Samuels
  • Producers | China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome

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