Stories from the Soho Road
I grew up as the daughter of two Anglican priests in Birmingham,one of the UK’s most culturally diverse cities where over 90 different nationalities now live. After travelling abroad and living in various other cities I became aware of the particularity of my upbringing. I developed an interest in the growth of multi-faith communities in European inner city contexts, and the attendant issues of immigration, secularism and religious revival.
Between 2007-2009, I explored the two-mile stretch of Soho Road in Birmingham, to document and celebrate the rich diversity of religions that co-exist there, and the reality and intensity of their different lifestyles. I lived with and visited the different religious communities, including Thai, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese Buddhists, Rastafarians, the Jesus Army evangelical Christians, Sikhs, Catholic nuns and Hare Krishna’s.
This work is a result of my own journey along Soho Road. I investigated what the people on the street believe their religion to be rather than what is prescribed by religious leaders or by the texts. For I see that faiths are interpreted differently depending on time, place and person. At a time when religion can breed unnecessary fear and prejudice through misunderstanding, with my photographs I hope to reveal what it can bring to everyday inner-city life.
Liz Hingley (Birmingham, UK, 1985)
Liz graduated from Brighton University, UK with a first class BA Honors in Editorial Photography in 2007 and went on to receive a two-year scholarship with FABRICA research and communications department in Italy. In 2011 she completed an MSc in Social Anthropology (with distinction) at University College London (UCL) and is currently artist in residence at the UCL Migration Research Unit.
Liz’s project “Under Gods’ stories from Soho road” was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in March 2011. The same year she received the Getty Editorial Grant to complete The Jones family project,an ongoing work about the cycle of youth poverty in the UK. She was finalised for the Eugene Smith Grant in 2010, selected as one of PDN’s 2011 top 30 emerging photographers amongst other awards. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is regularly published in international magazines such as Time and The Guardian as well as academic journals.