Flatpack Festival Preview Screening

Approaching its 17th edition (16-21 May), Flatpack Festival has long been bringing the very best and most audacious moving image work to Birmingham, and to whet your whistles for their upcoming iteration, they’ll be sharing shorts and trailers this Digbeth First Friday from 6pm here at Centrala.

Drop-in at any point and get a flavour for what’s on offer later this month.

Heterotopias in The Turbulent Zone | ARTLABTEREVAN

Centrala presents Heterotopias in the turbulent zone, an exhibition about the role of art as a tool for social justice in a world of uncertainty, conflict and turbulence.

Drawing ideas from contemporary realities where the world is characterised by the clash of economic, political, intellectual and religious systems, this exhibition will present newly commissioned and existing work from Art Lab Yerevan, an art activist collective promoting socially engaged art.

Aiming to find a positive vision of the future, they involve diverse audiences in their activist artistic practices in order to create a vast network and a solidarity platform using art as a tool to achieve political change.

Read more about Artlabyerevan HERE 

After Party: CRUSH x Sisterhood Takeover

After the headline gig with C.A.N.V.A.S. at Centrala (see other listing) – we hand the keys over to CRUSH x Sisterhood for an afterparty.

A first for the CRUSH team – join us on Friday 3rd of March when our decks will be taken over by three incredible Sisterhood DJs!

CHILLZ started mixing drum and bass stems when she was a little girl, taught by her big brother Darryl. When Darryl sadly passed away at the young age of 21, 10 year old CHILLZ coped with her grief by turning dnb into a passion. Now turning this passion into a career, she knows how proud Darryl would be <3

EPIPHANY started her journey whilst living in Melbourne and being heabily involved in the drum and bass community there. She has a love for deep, soulful melodies with rolling basslines and slapping drums. A multi-genre DJ that loves to add a euphoric, psychadelic and wonky flare to her sets, Epiphany loves to bring people together on the dancefloor.

RINGERS sets reflect a true love for the British party scene, blending catchy garage breaks and shelling infectious old school jungle rhythms. She’s a co-founder of upcoming record label High Key, which champions safe spaces and inclusion. We can’t wait to welcome her to the CRUSH community!

Joyous Thing: Music-Led Film Programme

A curated program of three artist films documenting electric live performances and audio-visual commissions from Outland’s archives.
Come and explore what Outlands is all about by experiencing selected moving image work from artists that we have commissioned.

AJA X BORA “SLUG” Live at Fat Out Fest 2021 (39 mins)
Interdisciplinary collaboration between BORA (France) and AJA (UK) incorporating 3D digital design, sound design, music video and performance.

Mothwasp: Unlive (17 minutes)
A digital commission for the Outlands ‘screen test’ series, Unlive investigates the juncture of expanded film and live musical performance for online audiences. “Rhythmic noise, feedback, and field recordings – both sonic and visual- are merged as a poem to the ‘live’, the analogue, the non-partisan, and the un-digital.’
Mothwasp is an ongoing audio-visual collaboration between Stephen J Taylor and Matthew J Watkins.

Pretty Grim (49 mins)
This extended live recording is the second featured work that was originally commissioned for our ‘Screen Test’ series, completed during Pretty Grim’s residency at Islington Mill in Salford in 2020.
Pretty Grim are Kaila, Anna & Meesha. Based in Birmingham, they are a supergroup made up of members of Dorcha ++

C.A.N.V.A.S. (33, Alpha Maid, and Olan Monk)

Outlands and Centrala, in close collaboration with C.A.N.V.A.S, will present live performances from Olan Monk w/Michael Speers, Alpha Maid, and 33 (Billy Bultheel & Alexander Iezzi).

Olan Monk is a musician, performer and writer from Connemara, on the west coast of Ireland. They also have the distinction of being a co-founder of C.A.N.V.A.S. Their debut album Love/Dead was released in June 2020, followed by Auto Life, an EP of songs released in October 2021. Past collaborations include recordings and performances with Actress, Ashley Paul, Elvin Brandhi, James K, Maria Somerville and Michael Speers.

Alpha Maid is a guitarist and producer from South East London who crafts compositions of lo-fi punk, grunge and glitch electronics. Also a member of CURL collective, who she occasionally joins for live shows. She released her debut EP, Spy, via their label in 2019. Her most recent release is second EP ‘CHUCKLE’ released in March 2021 via C.A.N.V.A.S which AQNB found Alpha Maid “at her folksiest sonic approach to date as she enlists her beat-up acoustic guitar to soundtrack introspective impulses”.

Through their collaborative project 33, Billy Bultheel and Alexander Iezzi further consolidate a partnership which has taken many forms.

‘Diaphonics’ and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Percussion Department

This month, come take a look (and listen) to the beautiful Diaphonics by Andrius Arutiunian, the exhibition which presents an interplay of three sound and video works. ‘In Diaphonics’ the artist explores the notion of diaphony (both in musical and political frames) through various spells, sonic objects and resonances.
We also have a special treat, as this DFF features percussionists from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire ahead of their concert on 7th February.

Poolside: A Celebration of Chubby Brown Boys

The Gay community is strife with fat phobia, body shaming and racism. This can be evidenced by Gay dating apps such as Grindr, where harmful phrases such as ‘Masc 4 Masc’ and ‘No Fats, No Femmes, No Blacks and No Asians’ have originated from.

The exhibition aims to subvert the classic male homoerotic GAYze by challenging body oppression within the gay community. The exhibition will aim to boost positive body image and self-worth by celebrating chubby men.

I specifically wanted to create a series of illustrations which depicts a pool party because, you tend to see an abundance of physically fit and masculine identifying caucasian gay men in these settings. I thought this was the perfect time to flip it on its head and portray chubby queer men as the sexy individuals that they are.

Meet me at the ‘Poolside’ on 2nd of December!

Commissioned by Homegrown31 and PoweredbyCAN.


Shado presents

For the past few months, shado has been working with artists in Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham alongside lead curator Leyla Reynolds to create new work around the theme reimagination.

What does reimagination mean? It could be climate justice, abolition, racial justice, LGBTQI+ rights – or maybe it’s a combination of all of these concepts, and a representation of breaking down the structures that have been constructed to marginalise the most vulnerable in society.
And now, shado is thrilled to present the Birmingham exhibition REIMAGINATION in collaboration with local artists:

Cherie Kwok
Tolemia Gregory
Imogen Richards
Vidya Patel
Emily Doyle
Caitlin Kiely
Rumbi Savanhu
Jane Thakoordin
Fae Kilburn
Adam Wynn

For our opening night, we’ll be meeting the artists, showcasing their work for the first time, and will be joined by special guests:

Beth Slin with a spoken word performance
Affie Jam with a live music performance

‘Temporary Landscapes’ Anka Gregorczyk and Łukasz Szamałek

Temporary Landscapes is a visual reflection of a landscape changed by man and nature.

Following the long-term process of building the S5 Expressway between Poznań and Bydgoszcz in Poland – part of a 249 mile-long eastern bypass connecting Ostróda, Grudziądz, Bydgoszcz, Poznań, and Wrocław – Anka Gregorczyk and Łukasz Szamałek have produced an extensive photographic project, documenting several years of construction and disruption in the shifting landscape.

spaces of (dis)connection: migrant essential workers

spaces of (dis)connection showcases new bodies of work from three Internationally renowned photographic artists in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

spaces of (dis)connection follows a pioneering project conducted by researchers across the UK to investigate how the pandemic has affected the everyday lives and settlement plans of Polish workers in the UK.

This exhibition combines newly commissioned photographic work by Małgorzata Dawidek, Paulina Korobkiewicz, and Sylwia Kowalczyk alongside anonymous testimonies given by Polish essential workers across the UK. The respective works speak to the changing public and private landscapes that resulted from the various lockdowns implemented by the English and Scottish governments. In exploring how spaces have transformed, through depopulation or increased habitation, the artists have produced uniquely insightful and intimate works. Be they spaces of connection or disconnection, these photographs evidence an environment affected by uncertainty and isolation.