British based documentary photographer and film maker Pogus Caesar has launched his new book Sparkbrook Pride (2011). Sparkbrook Pride consists of 70 black-and-white photos celebrating the residents of Sparkbrook, Birmingham (Great Britain)–where Caesar grew up–all taken with his antique 1980s Canon Sureshot camera. Documenting the diverse people who live and work in the area, the book features both the long-standing residents from the West Indies, Ireland, India, and Pakistan and the more recent additions to the community from Somalia, Sudan, Malawi, and Afghanistan, celebrating the rich cultural mix that defines the area. The book will be launched this spring in the United Kingdom.
The foreword has been specially written by British Caribbean dub poet, playwright, and activist Benjamin Zephaniah. Zephaniah, who was raised in Birmingham (Handsworth) at the heart of a Caribbean family—Barbadian and Jamaican—calls the area “the Jamaican capital of Europe.” Zephaniah says “I love the ‘rawness’ of these photos, they have a sense of place, yet nothing is staged, and the only information Pogus gives us about those featured is how they define themselves, nothing more. We need no more. So people, it is down to us to piece together the rest of this multicultural puzzle.”
For more information on Benjamin Zephaniah, see http://www.benjaminzephaniah.com/content/biography.php