The Hodge Hill constituency in Birmingham contains a large Pakistani population with poor rates of health and high levels of social deprivation and unemployment. Following post-7/7 terror-related arrests in the area, parts of Hodge Hill have gained a negative ‘reputational geography’ in the local and national media, which tends to focus on inter-ethnic conflict and social deprivation. The Alum Rock Road within the Washwood Heath Ward (the area’s central commercial artery), for example, is often perceived to be a Muslim ghetto where Muslims live ‘parallel lives’ – a ‘no-go area’ for non-Muslims.
What games did you play when you were growing up? Hop-scotch? Marbles? Skipping? Operation? Monopoly?...
A year in Alum Rock and I sit watching a group of elderly Pakistani-heritage men...
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