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A Brummie Sense Of Place: The Contribution Of The 2022 Commonwealth Games

Alice Griffiths

24th August 2022

The Games was a great opportunity to showcase Birmingham on the world stage, but remember it hasn't put the city on the map. It was already there, what with being the UK's second city (!) as Twitter-ers pointed out to Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; some of whom also cited BBC TV's Peaky Blinders as a cultural moment for Brum.

But clearly the ‘place-makers’ had given it some thought ahead of the start of the Games.

‘It’s so vibrant, it’s so vivid, this place. It’s moving so quickly. And I think it’s time to make a noise about it. Not just its past, but about its present as well’ Iqbal Khan, the ceremony’s artistic director, said of the city.

And the local newspaper the Birmingham Mail Online felt the opening ceremony was a great celebration of the city:

‘It was a blinding spotlight on what Birmingham has given the world.’

So, lest they be lost in the world wide web over the coming weeks and months, here’s a blogpost with all of the ‘sense of place’ films made for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, showcasing the city, and what it means to be a Brummie today.

There are lots of interesting media images, symbolism and colour to dig into if this is your local or distant place study, for the Changing places topic at A Level.

Manufacturing (past) is clearly referenced, along with its current, multi-cultural character. The cityscape and local vernacular are front and centre, as is the hope of Brummies’ that the Games will create a lasting legacy. You might also like this tribute from the BBC (below), embedded in this news story.

Alice Griffiths

Alice has taught Geography over a period of twenty years. She is a published author and editor of a wide range of A level resources and has also created award-winning, online content for younger students. An occasional presenter at the GA’s annual conference, she was head of department at an 11-18 school until 2020.

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