The Happiness in Cities

Background

According to the United Nations, 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050. Yet, modern cities still fail to maximize people's potential. Using an example of the city of Birmingham, the Happiness in Cities project aims to understand how different communities across Birmingham contribute to the city's development and how this diversity can help us build happier cities.

Events

This project featured an art exhibition as well as a week-long festival hosted at the University of Birmingham from October 22, 2019 to October 26, 2019 at the Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre in Birmingham. Please see the detailed programme below. The Urban Festival  featured 5 days of events with emphasis on different aspects of urban wellbeing and inclusivity. 

Exhibition

The Art of Happiness in Cities Exhibition is a custom exhibition produced by the Portuguese visionary artist Alexander Kharlamov using film photography and silver gelatin printing. The exhibition featured many different communities from all parts of Birmingham to showcase diversity, inclusivity and multi-cultural vibrance of the City of Birmingham.

 

Over 2,000 people attended  the exhibition between October 22nd – 26th 2019 at the University of Birmingham Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre  and over 200 researchers, practitioners and students took part in the festival workshops.

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When

From Tuesday 22nd (10:00) to Friday 25th October 2019 (15:00)

Where

Edgbaston Park Hotel 53 Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham

B15 2RS

Programme

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Day 1: The future of our city: where next for leadership inclusivity? 

Time: Tuesday 22 October, 10:00 - 15:05

Venue: Hornton Grange: 53 Birmingham B15 2RS

more...

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Day 2: Building the Technology Ecosystem to Innovate Financial and Professional Services in the West Midlands 

Time: Wednesday 23 October, 17:30 - 19:00

Venue: Hornton Grange: 53 Birmingham B15 2RS

more...

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Day 3: Urban Analytics Workshop 

Time: Thursday 24 October, 10:00 - 16:00

Venue: Hornton Grange: 53 Birmingham B15 2RS

more...

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Day 4: Sustainable Future in the City: Student Competition

Time: Friday 25 October, 11:00 - 15:00

Venue: Hornton Grange: 53 Birmingham B15 2RS

more...

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Twitter Feed #UrbanHappinessBrum19

Day 1

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 Day 2

 

On October 22-26, 2019 the University of Birmingham hosted the first Happiness in Cities Festival at Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel:

Using an example of the city of Birmingham, the Happiness in Cities Festival tried to understand how different communities across Birmingham contribute to the city's development and how this diversity can help us build happier cities. The Festival featured many different events as well as the Art of Happiness in Cities Exhibition - a custom photo exhibition produced by Alexander Kharlamov.

Hosted at the University of Birmingham, the "Happiness in Cities" Festival included “The Art of Happiness in Cities” exhibition which showed 40 pieces of works by the award-winning artist Alexander Kharlamov from Tuesday 22nd October to Saturday 26th October.

 

 

The Art of Happiness in Cities Exhibition by Alexander Kharlamov

 

The exhibition, which took place at Horton Grange, University of Birmingham represented a custom celebration of inclusion, diversity and vibrance of the City of Birmingham using film photography and silver gelatine printing. The exhibition  featured many different communities from all parts of the City captured in both portrait photography and landscapes.

 

Born in Russia and raised in Portugal, Alexander Kharlamov has dedicated most of his life to develop his artistic vision, receiving his formal education in fine art painting and classical music in a conservatory, yet, photography remains his favourite medium. His portraiture has been published in books and magazines. His fine art work received many distinctions and featured in both individual and collective exhibitions over the last years.

 

Commenting on the project, Alexander Kharlamov said: “I believe that studying inclusion and diversity through art helps us rediscover cities as we can better understand how different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds come together to form the multidimensional tapestry, which contributes to our everyday life”.

 

The exhibition was open to the Festival participants throughout the week and to the public from 10 am to 5 pm on October 26th. The exhibition was free, but accepted voluntary donations which will go to Birmingham PHAB Camps – a Birmingham charity which runs holiday programmes with the special purpose of integrating children of all abilities, backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities.

 

Ganna Pogrebna, one of the organisers of the Festival said: “According to the United Nations, 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050. Yet, modern cities still fail to maximize people's potential. Using an example of the city of Birmingham, the Happiness in Cities project aims to understand how different communities across Birmingham contribute to the city's development and how this diversity can help us build happier cities. We are very excited to host the Happiness in Cities and the exhibition! We are very grateful to the University of Birmingham, Economic and Social Research Council and the Alan Turing Institute fir financial support.”

 

Please, see examples of Alexander Kharlamov's Photography produced for the Exhibition below:

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 Day 3

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 Day 4

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