By tracing the links between new migrant population (first and second generation) and other drivers of success within cities, OPENCities will produce a portfolio of best practice case studies, indexes of cities' openness and a set of guidelines for city policies. These will allow cities to build upon the potential of these new populations and to facilitate integration.
The OPENCities project has been joined by: Belfast, Bilbao, Bucharest, Cardiff, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Gdansk, Madrid, Nitra, Poznan, Sofia, Vienna. Other collaborating cities are Edinburgh,London, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, New York, Nottingham, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Toronto.
To accompany the research element of the OPENCities project, the British Council is developing a photography exhibition around the theme of immigration into European cities.
Eight photographers – rising stars in their own cities – were recruited to examine the idea of ‘openness’ in their cities. The resulting exhibition launched in September 2009 and toured numerous cities over the next two years.
Working closely with the city councils and British Council in their own cities each of the photographers have produced work related to the themes investigated in the wider research.
Cardiff's chosen photographer is Gareth Phillips, an award-winning photographer based in Cardiff, who works extensively for the Guardian Newspaper, Sunday Times Magazine. In conjunction with Cardiff Council and the British Council Open Cities Commission, Gareth ran a photographic workshop for children at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.
The aim of the workshop was to give voice to the children of ethnic migrants and indigenous British families. He wanted the children to show how diversified and multicultural their lives are, in the city of Cardiff. To do they asked the children to take a disposable camera home with them, for five days, and photograph what they see. They explored their families and friends using the camera in a unique and positive way of allowing them to explore their artistic creativity as well as work independently.
Gareth and filmaker, Joe Perrin made a film about the workshop. You can view a short version of the film here.