mac: new exhibitions

Image credit: Maryam Wahid

Midland Arts Centre warmly invite you to attend the opening of three new exhibitions on Fri 4 February, 6 – 8pm 

7pm: Speech from Deborah Kermode, CEO & Artistic Director. Refreshments will be available in our café KILN, with live music throughout the evening

Maryam Wahid: Zaibunnisa | First floor gallery | This is Maryam Wahid’s first major photographic exhibition in her home city of Birmingham. Zaibunnisa, meaning ‘the beauty of women’ refers to Wahid’s mother’s birth name prior to emigrating from Pakistan to the UK in 1982 for an arranged marriage. The photographs tell the story of Wahid and her mother’s journey to Lahore in 2019, Wahid’s first-ever trip to Pakistan and her mother’s first visit in twenty years. The work addresses themes of loss, memory, displacement, identity and migration whilst importantly counterbalancing a celebratory future and the positive married life that the artist’s parents made for themselves in Birmingham.

Epiphania Visuals: When Speech is Forced Down, Art Must Speak | Arena Gallery | This group exhibition presents the work of artists and activists from Bangladesh. It is curated by Dipa Mahbuba Yasmin, founder of Epiphania Visuals Gallery & Archive – the first queer art gallery of Bangladesh. Themes explore gender identities including asexuality, gender and sexual diversity, and queer experiences through art, film, painting, and craft. Through their work, the artists reflect themselves and their surroundings, addressing different views of gender politics. It encourages us to recognise that the very act of creativity can open possibilities and widen positive dialogues around societal development among local and international audiences.

Little Earthquake: Nevertheless, We Persisted | Community Gallery | Inspired by and featuring cards, letters and messages of support sent to Anderton Park School, Sparkhill from across the globe during the 2019 protests around LGBTQIA+ inclusive teaching. This exhibition showcases the gentle, eloquent force of the handwritten note as a powerful form of activism. Coinciding with LGBT+ History Month, the exhibition explores pivotal milestones, from the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 through to contemporary lived experience and some of the ways young people are educated in schools. It has been curated by MAC’s Associates, Little Earthquake.

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