We Are Family

Touring Exhibition

This pop-up exhibition of material from the Multistory archive will tour to libraries and community centres across Sandwell, exploring ‘family’ through stories and images of local people.

Ask someone to think of a family and you might be able to predict their reply: a dad, a mom and two children, maybe one boy and one girl. Adverts show us these same families eating breakfast at the kitchen table, neat, happy, energetic and loving. But think a little longer; how many families do you know that follow this formula?

Families can be messy or complicated, large, loud, quiet or calm. They come in all shapes and sizes: a single parent and a child; three generations living under one roof; remarried parents whose children become step siblings; and others without children. They are not necessarily related by blood or by legal definitions. Some are built through the bonds of friendship and community.

The exhibition highlights the ways that relationships and individual personalities make a family, as well as external factors, such as cultural background. Many of the photographers included here have been drawn to documenting communities that function like families, finding them in places of worship, markets, pubs and local community centres.

Every family has a different story, each woven with moments of joy and sadness. These stories of family and ancestry have great power over our lives. They can be a source of pride or solace, teach us important lessons about how we want to live, and help us understand why we are who we are.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a programme of public events. Watch this space for more info.

Tour dates:

Wednesbury Library

11 – 23 August 2018

Tipton Muslim Community Centre

28 August – 8 September 2018

West Bromwich Central Library

11 – 27 September 2018

Tipton Library

1 – 18 October 2018

Thimblemill Library

22 October – 8 November 2018

More dates to be announced soon.