The exhibition â€˜Under Godsâ€™ explores the everyday religious experiences of the complex and multifaceted communities that live around one road in Birmingham. The Soho Road is situated close to the urban centre of Englandâ€™s second biggest city, where over 90 different nationalities now live. Between 2007 and 2009 Liz Hingley lived with and intimately documented over fifteen different religious communities, including Thai, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese Buddhists, Rastafarians, the Jesus Army evangelical Christians, Sikhs, Catholic nuns and Hare Krishnas.
Hingley says: â€˜Under Gods is an investigation into what the people on the street believe their religion to be, rather than what is prescribed by religious leaders or by the texts.â€™ As one female Asian Anglican priest told her, â€˜On Soho road it is religion rather than race that now defines the local communities. People used to say â€˜Oh I am from Bangladesh, Pakistan or Poland. Now people say â€˜I am a Muslim, I am a Sikh, I am a Hindu, I am a Catholic, this is my identityâ€™.
Hingleyâ€™s poignant and thought-provoking images celebrate the cultural and religious diversity of Soho Road and speak about wider issues in contemporary urban experience, such as immigration, secularism and religious revival. At a time when religion is increasingly stereotyped as breeding fear and intolerance, this story reveals what it can bring to everyday inner-city life.
The exhibition comprises of photographs, objects and texts translated into five different languages.
The book â€˜Under Godsâ€™, published in both French and English, accompanies the exhibition. Educational workshops, seminars and presentations directed by Liz Hingley alongside the exhibition explore issues surrounding inter-faith living and encourage dialogue between different religions and cultures. The project aims to build relations between academia, religious organizations and the arts.
22 x Giclee Art Print, 40 x30 cm, Frame size 66.5x53x4 cm glass, mounted on foamex
12 x Giclee Art Print, 30x25 cm, Frame size 37x47x4 cm glass, mounted on foamex
Two boxes of religious objects purchased in the UK and France
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