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PoliNations Opens In Birmingham

Birmingham’s PoliNations garden is a stunning display of the importance of green spaces and a healthy planet. The garden, which opened in September, has transformed Victoria Square in the city centre into an amazing floral urban oasis with trees out of this world. The garden is a symbol of hope and brings people together who visit it. It is a beautiful reminder of the importance of protecting our planet and its resources. It creates a place of peace and serenity, and I hope everyone visiting it will take away a renewed appreciation for the natural world as I did.

Did you know that 80% of the plants in the UK originate from the rest of the world? The idea behind the garden space came from this knowledge. PoliNations reflects on the complex history of the UK with migration and diversity.

Imagination & Creativity

Birmingham’s PoliNations garden is a wonderful example of what can be done with a little imagination and creativity. Victoria square in the centre of Birmingham is brought to life with 1000s of plants with free garden tours, audio baths, live music and light shows, costume design workshops, sensory experiences, poetry and performance and much more. The garden was open from 2 pm on the 2nd until 10 pm on the 18th of September, and it’s Free.

The stunning garden reminds me of the park in Singapore with the massive structures. The creators describe it as Carnival meets Holi in a brilliant messy party where everyone is invited.

PoliNations was commissioned by UNBOXED, part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, with support from the Birmingham City Council. The team behind PoliNations is the Trigger Collective; the Creative Director of Trigger Angie Bual said…

“PoliNations opened today as a festival celebrating cultural diversity, individuality, and self-expression. The vibrancy of the PoliNations programme and the abundance of the super garden is the result of collaborations with members of many diverse communities – becoming a living symbol for the beauty and intriguing stories of migration across the UK. Trigger Collective is thrilled to see the festival open to everyone, at no cost, and engage new audiences in conversation on why the UK is multicultural.”

Over the first two days, many local people planted Marigolds in spaces in the garden. There are five towering tree installations (40 feet) and over 6000 plants and flowers.

Over the first two days, many local people planted Marigolds in spaces in the garden. There are five towering tree installations (40 feet) and over 6000 plants and flowers.

What else is happening?

Over the 2nd and 3rd weekends, live performances, music, spoken word, dance & drag will be played. Some highlights are the amazing Soweto Kinch, an award-winning saxophonist and poet. Poet Laureate finalist Jasmine Gardosi will also be performing during the 2nd weekend.

On the grand finale weekend, there will be an explosion of colour with a Caribbean carnival, Holi Celebration, a fashion catwalk and a drag party. Live music from Balimaya project, Kofi Stone and many more at these free events.

All the plants at the end of the PoliNations festival will be distributed throughout the city via local community groups and public members. So if you are in the area, get down on the 18th for the Plant Giveaway.

How to get there?

If you are coming from London, it is best to go by train, but this can be expensive if you want a fast train. Long gone are the days when you get to Birmingham for £17 return, now it is £30+. I took the slow West Midlands train for £21 (network railcard).

Once you arrive at Birmingham News street station, it is only a short 4 min walk to Birmingham city centre, easy to get to.

Once you are in Birmingham, remember to visit the Bull, which was created to open the Common Wealth Games. It is located in front of the Theatre area in Centenary Square.

Photographs of the event

Below are the photographs I took on the first day, with lots more on the Flickr link below.

Thanks very much for reading; check out the PoliNations link for more detailed information. There is also a PoliNations App; check out my photographs on the links below.

Many thanks for reading; there are plenty of other stories on my blog each month about various events I get invited to in and around London.

You can catch more of my photographs on the Flickr link below and purchase images on Alamy News Agency. Plus, sign up for my newsletter for events each month in London and the surrounding area just like this event.

Links

PoliNations

UnBoxed

My Instagram

Alamy News Agency

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