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writers and artists let lost voices speak

What would the voices from our pasts say if they had one more chance to speak? Inspired by Denise Riley’s collection of poems Say Something Back, artwrite invited artists and writers to go on a personal quest to seek out their lost voices, to find a story for them and to let them speak.


See and hear what they have to say here


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A moment = 90 seconds

creative writers and visual artists make unique moments in words and images

The 7th October 2020 was an arbitrary day, selected at random when writers & artists decided to respond through words and images to their own experiences of that day, where ever they happened to be, and whatever they happened to be doing.

So, we invite you to spend a unique moment in their company here

Creative writers, visual artists and 11 new works

in a virtual space

July 2020

Suddenly the world locks down and writers and artists are left sitting in chairs at computers, talking to themselves and each other. Their conversations have resulted in 11 new works here

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We are grateful for the kind support

during this time from

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Back to Back

at the Back to Backs

10 creative writers and 10 visual artists make a site specific response to

Birmingham’s historic communal courtyard housing

Due to the COVID-19 situation

this event is postponed until further notice

Site Specific Performances - postponed

Space is limited so please book tickets in advance *

* Bookings not yet open

Site Specific Exhibition - postponed

Works can be seen at the venue  during opening hours via National Trust guided tours. 


Guided tours can be booked in advance *

National Trust members go free

* Bookings not yet open


Birmingham Back to Backs - National Trust

55-63 Hurst Street/50-54 Inge Street, Birmingham, B5 4TE

The Back to Backs


Now preserved by the National Trust these buildings represent the working history of Birmingham. The 19th-century courtyard of working people's houses provides an atmospheric glimpse into the lives of the ordinary people who helped make Birmingham an extraordinary city.  They are Birmingham's last surviving court of back to backs - houses built literally back-to-back around a communal courtyard. The National Trust tour moves from the 1840s through to the 1970s, giving us an insight into the lives of some of the former residents who crammed into these small houses to live and work.


This project is supported by

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What's happening?

10 creative writers are each paired with a visual artist

to explore a new creative partnership and

make their own responses to Birmingham’s historic communal courtyard housing through words and art

Each writer will create

a short (5 minute) original piece of drama, prose or poetry to be performed on site over two evenings


Each artist will make

a small piece of visual work to be shown on site 

The Writers paired with The Artists

Click on the name links to find out more about the people









Performance Director - Jonathan Legg

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