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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery launches programme aimed at exploring faith

By Andrew Turton | Birmingham entertainment | Published:

A pioneering programme of events and activities is being held at a Birmingham attraction to explore the role that faith plays in the lives of people in the world today.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, in partnership with the British Museum, is launching the Finding Faith programme from Saturday (November 25).

The event, which runs until March 2018, includes performances, debates and live panel discussions.

Finding Faith aims to encourage people to reflect on their own beliefs, celebrate the city’s multi-faith community and learn more about how faith and belief can help us understand the world around us today.

Birmingham Museums is the British Museum’s only regional partner outside of London for this project.

The programme of events and activities was developed in partnership with the British Museum’s ‘Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond’ exhibition.

Running until April 8 2018, the exhibition explores the practice and expression of religious beliefs in the lives of individuals and communities around the world and through time.

Performances and activities on the launch day begin from 11am and represent a range of faiths and beliefs.

Opening with an expressive Hindu dance performance from artist and choreographer Jaivant Patel, which explores his relationship with personal faith and spirituality, the day continues with a Rastafrian drumming workshop, uplifting gospel music from artists AffieJam and Jabez Walsh, spoken word poetry by Carl Sealeaf, who identifies as an Atheist, and a Bahá'í craft workshop, which aims to introduce children and families alike to one of the world’s youngest major religions.

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Until March 2018 unique events will take place at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and at other venues across the West Midlands.

To encourage discussion beyond physical spaces, there will also be live-stream discussions; including a panel event called Can I find faith? in which national faith leaders will explore what it means to live in the intersection as an LGBT+ person of faith.

Recognising that young people are the future of interfaith Birmingham, Dr Andrew Smith, Director of Interfaith Relations for the Bishop of Birmingham, will lead an informal discussion with youth organisation The Feast exploring what it means to live in an interfaith city.

Other prominent events include The Birmingham Conversation, a series of discussions between representatives of different faiths, an artist installation and performance from leading South African artist James Webb, a faith and disability talk led by disability rights activist Hannah Eldritch, and Recipe for a City Feast Celebration, which will see different faith representatives take part in food swap with the public encouraged to try different recipes.

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Suriya Roberts-Grey, Finding Faith Programme Coordinator at Birmingham Museums, said: “Faith and belief is a key human characteristic and this extensive programme of exciting and though-provoking performances, workshops and discussions will bring to life the spirit of living in a multi-faith society.

“Working with the British Museum and being selected as the only regional partner outside London for this project is a testament to the Birmingham Museums Trust team, who have forged vital links with faith groups and communities across the region.”

Birmingham Museums Trust was chosen for the collaboration following the success of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s Faith in Birmingham Gallery, which was developed by working in partnership with the British Museum and followed consultation with faith groups and communities across Birmingham.

For more information please visit birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/finding-faith-launch and use the #FindingFaith on social media.

Andrew Turton

By Andrew Turton
Digital Journalist

Digital journalist based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton. Interested in breaking news and social media. Get in touch on Twitter @aturton_star or andrew.turton@expressandstar.co.uk

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