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Impressions Gallery


Impressions Gallery collaborates with COEMO to celebrate Bradford’s Cultural Heritage

Sat, 22nd Jun, 2013

Impressions Gallery has begun an exciting collaboration with COEMO (the Consortia of Ethnic Minority Organisations) to deliver a local history project which explores how South Asian culture, business, religion and the arts has shaped the City of Bradford since the end of World War II. The project, Changing Bradford, focuses exclusively on Bradford residents many of who moved to the city in the 1950s and 60s and have seen life in the city change dramatically over the years.

Impressions Gallery's youth advisory board, New Focus, are working alongside young people from Manningham Youth Centre to record oral history interviews and photograph older South Asian residents. The interviewees range from retired factory workers, community workers through to successful politicians, business leaders and artists. Themes of immigration, built heritage and community achievement are being documented. Working with photographer Bip Mistry and graphic designer Andy Edwards the young people are producing a publication and exhibition, both launching at Impressions Gallery in October 2013.

COEMO’s Chief Executive, Dr Mohammed Salam, believes Changing Bradford has huge potential to promote a positive image of Bradford, 'Bradford is rightly famous as the ‘curry capital' of Britain but is too often perceived in a negative light, with the focus on racial and religious tensions and economic problems. In reality, migrant workers coming to the city since the 1950s have helped to create a rich and diverse cultural heritage and a thriving south Asian business economy, reflected in Bradford’s arts centres, Mosques, Gurdwaras, temples, shops and famous restaurants.

To read more about the project and follow it’s progress visit the Changing Bradford blog


Changing Bradford is lead by COEMO (Consortia of Ethnic Minority Organisations) in partnership with Impressions Gallery and Manningham Youth Project. The project has also benefitted from the support of Grange Interlink and West Yorkshire Archive Service (Bradford).

The project is supported by the National Lottery through the HeritageLottery Fund.

COEMO¹s is a registered charity which supports BME community groups and voluntary sector organisations, helping them to engage more effectively in mainstream activities and services in Bradford. Services include advice, training, information, advocacy and support networks.