The Flags of Nature project
Flags of Nature is a youth art project that was recently led by the Friends of Digby Park in Small Heath, Birmingham. The Friends of Digby Park asked local young people what they would like to see in Digby Park, encouraging their imaginations to focus on their local park and its future, the young people then created art designs to reflect their ideas! There was a wide array of different designs created, which reflected their interests, such as – a fruit orchard, a playground and sports equipment, flowers, more wildlife to thrive in the park, more rain to help the grass grow again after the heatwave this summer, no litter, and even a bunny tea party!
The Friends Group then hosted their family-friendly Flags of Nature event last month in Digby Park, where the local volunteer Friends Group helped to decorated the park with the designs on small flags, for all to enjoy!
“As local residents who were litter picking on a regular basis, we managed to successfully apply for a Celebrating Communities Fund. This enabled us to set up Friends of Digby Park, along with delivering a participatory arts consultation project with local families, which we aptly named Flags of Nature.
We planted flags as a symbol of our collective belonging, sharing in our open space of nature.
It was a sight that brought so much joy to so many local children.
We wanted to subvert the narrative of what a flag can symbolise. By removing political content associated with flags, we started with a fresh perspective of what our park could look like. We then planted them into our park for all to see.
As humans we tend not to refer to ourselves as nature, but we too are part of nature. So, Flags of Nature was a great concept to link with the Commonwealth Games and local parks.
Our project focused on community cohesion and what neighbours have in common. Our shared vision for Digby Park was visually drawn and painted on mini flags by children and parents within Small Heath. We then had a final flag planting ceremony where children came with their families to look for their flags.
As Friends of Digby Park we have had a lovely relaxed, family-friendly beautiful day.
Children were coming throughout the day, some to look for their own flag, others were trying to decide which one was their favourite.
Flags of Nature workshops were delivered at Starbank Secondary school, St Benedict Primary School, Small Heath Library, Masjid Mujadidia and Small Heath Youth Club. In total we helped the young people to make 400 Flags, within just 6 days. We are so proud of the artwork produced, with the results showing some exceptionally talented artists.” – Shaheen Ahmed, volunteer Chairperson for Friends of Digby Park.
Posted on 14th September 2022