Finding the motivation to write has been hard recently. Somehow we’re well into the summer, and while I’m grateful to still be working from home, separating job-work and PhD-work is challenging when you’re inhabiting the same space constantly; day after day, week after week. However, a recent tweet from a BBC account gave me an unexpected nudge, and in a welcome burst of productivity I actually got typing. The topic? Birmingham.
The tweet in question accompanied an archive clip about Birmingham’s bid to host the 1992 Olympic Games, something I hadn’t been aware of, but which seemed eminently reasonable. After all, the city is hosting the Commonwealth Games in a couple of years and Eurovision was held here in 1998, so why not another high profile international event? (OK, I know Eurovision isn’t quite the same as the Olympics, but still). Anyway, the poster of the clip implied it was laughable that Brum should have been in the running, which instigated a barrage of irritated responses and even sparked the hashtag #BirminghamyesBirmingham.
I jumped on the hashtag bandwagon. I’ve lived here for almost 13 years now, and with my PhD hat on, this seemed a prime example of how overlooked the second city often is, as well as pointing to the importance of context when considering archive material. And so, I wrote a short piece for the Midlands Network of Popular Culture. Please do give it a read: