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Birmingham City Council

Vanley Burke: Handsworth from the inside

Born in Jamaica in 1951, Vanley Burke's interest in photography began when his mother sent him a camera from England for his tenth birthday. After arriving in England Burke began taking photographs of his family and friends, soon developing his art as a means of looking at people and how they live. He has often said his goal has been to "show his people to themselves".

His first major exhibition "Handsworth From The Inside" was shown at the Ikon Gallery Birmingham and the Commonwealth Institute London in 1983. Vanley has also displayed his work in less conventional settings such as pubs, clubs, community centres, churches, schools and pool halls. In the 1990's he worked in South Africa documenting the the journey from Apartheid to freedom. Today Vanley Burke is still documenting the black community in the UK. His current projects include an exhibition/ publication project documenting the Asian community in Birmingham. His most recent exhibition "Redemption Songs" (photographs of gospel music events) was shown at Birmingham Symphony Hall.


Digital Handsworth Project
Benjamin Stone
George Hallett: Handsworth Through Southern Eyes
The Warwickshire Photographic Survey
Boulton, Watt and Murdoch
Hot Air Over Handsworth: Lieutenant Lempriere
Wish you were here?: Handsworth on postcards
Handsworth in the Blitz
Plan of the parish of Handsworth 1872