Skip to Content

This website uses Cookies you can control them from this page: Cookies Page

Functionality Cookies Performance Cookies Targeting Cookies
22 October - 13 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Young Lives in the Spotlight: Poverty, Place & Belonging in Balsall Heath

Image of a street in Balsall Heath, Birmingham taken in the late 1960s. Image is of Victorian terrace houses and a corner shop with a bicycle outside.

My local area theme

What’s on offer?

This event, which combines participatory interactive art and a panel discussion, is both an exploration of poverty and a celebration of place and belonging.

The evening will be delivered in collaboration with young people living in Balsall Heath, a deprived, inner-city Birmingham neighbourhood which has a higher population of young people than the national average and is home to many communities with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Presented in collaboration with the GAP Arts Project, a community-based youth arts organisation based in Balsall Heath, this event will showcase the work of local young people participated in an art workshop exploring the themes of poverty, place and belonging and how these themes relate to their lives.

Performances will be followed by a panel discussion consisting of academics, a member of the GAP and a young participant. The audience will be encouraged to share their own views on poverty, place and belonging.

What’s it about?

This event will engage with and provide young people from the Balsall Heath area with the opportunity to work with, and be trained by, drama specialists from the GAP to co-produce, explore and express the themes of poverty, place and belonging through arts. The event will also give young people the opportunity to be part of an interactive, participatory panel discussion to express their views and experiences.

The event therefore brings together local people, the GAP and academics who are interested in exploring the issues of poverty, place and belonging and are committed to improving the local area of Balsall Heath – an area which is home to communities stricken by social and structural inequalities based on race, ethnicity, class and poverty.

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Özlem Ögtem-Young -  Research Fellow and Research Theme Lead (Poverty, Precarity, Savings and Debt) working on research on poverty, precarity, financial insecurity and belonging amongst ethnic and migrant communities within CHASM - The Centre on Housing Assets and Savings Management at the School of Social Policy and Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham.

Dr. Lee Gregory - Associate Professor in Social Policy at the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham. Lee has particular expertise in poverty, social mobility, LGBTQ+ experiences of welfare and asset-based welfare. Lee is currently completing a project reviewing social needs in the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield on behalf of Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust. He is also part of a collaboration with Stirling University and Sheffield Hallam University exploring Welfare access, assets and debts of LGBT+ people in the UK.

Dr. Gerardo Javier Arriaga Garcia - Lecturer in Research Methods at Ulster University, QAHE. His current research focuses on the relationship between welfare systems and poverty. He is currently conducting comparative research through secondary data analysis, of conditional cash transfer programmes in Latin America and the UK. His focus is on the extent to which different welfare systems promote or reduce people in poverty´s control of their living conditions, their social relations and their flourishing potential.

The GAP - a youth arts organisation and cultural space based in Balsall Heath, Birmingham. The GAP is driven by its methodology and values to use creativity and culture as tools for making sense of the world and imagining possible futures.

Open to

Anyone with an interest in poverty, place and belonging for young people is welcomed to attend. The event will be a combination of drama and arts produced by local young people and a panel discussion.

Of particular interest to

Local people, students and academics