Identity – Being British

As part of the Photography Groups exploration of the theme of  ‘Identity’, we have been asking the people we meet what they think it means to ‘be British’ ?

It has proven an interesting experience, especially as we did not expect some of the reactions we received to our simply hanging the national flag in public.  Reactions ranging from puzzlement, to outright disgust were evident & upon further investigation, the group were surprised at the often negative connotations attached to displaying the flag & in having in some cases, to pull any comment from those that we approached.

Whether caught up in the seeming non excitement in preparing for the Olympics, saddened by the prospect that being British means to take your last journey through a small English town, now made famous by its receiving of dead servicemen or caught up in the pseudo nostalgia of the coming Jubilee – Here are the beginnings of what we hope will form another thread of discussion for future visitors.

Please scroll down through images for comments etc –

To me, being British is all about pride. Its about Queen & country. Tiaras, parades & slowly but very politely, taking over the world.

Terrible to be British, terrible.

A high five to the soldiers ! The Government could do more, no wonder there are riots !

I wish it was about everyone looking out for those worse off than themselves ... but I don't see much of that to be honest !

I've always been British & was born in Liverpool, but there's been a change for the worst & I can't see it getting any better because of the Government.

I think being British is plain & simple. Following the British way of life.
Well, I think being British is more like queueing & eating fish & chips.

Being British, I can stand in the street & speak my mind without fear. Being British, I have freedom. I realise that this is slowly being revoked. We are very lucky in Britain to have freedom & diversity without too much fear ?

I wish Britain remained Britiish, instead of being taken over by Extremism.

Being British to me, is embracing traditional values, speaking the language & being non fundamental toward other religions, creeds etc, as British people do - one community, not segregated.

I've been travelling for 18 months & have heard a lot of negative comments, But I'm proud to be British & happy to be back.

There are good communities around the country, but sometimes I feel it could be better.

I think its a lot to do with not being a stuck up arse, like everyone assumes.

Knowing where you come from & working together.
Uni fees are bad, its excluding the working class from education when everyone has the right to learn.
Having a say, but not always being heard.
I want a job with a stable income, need a job, need money.

Cold weather & fish n chips. Dancing should be made an Olympic sport.

When I saw the Union Jack flag, I thought the BNP were out recruiting again, but was pleasantly surprised to find out about the project. I don't like this flag though, as it stands for all of the wars we are fighting today.

Politely saying anything, but no.

To be British, means to be able to bite one's tongue.

I think Britain is wonderfully diverse, with different cultures - but we do have terrible weather.

We love being British because we have a lot of opportunities over here - as other countries do.
Nothing in Britain is British anymore.
I like not being British, Im proud of my own nationality, but you get some great opportunities over here.

Born British, but not proud. Just consider myself human.

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Where are you going ?

This is our first foray into meeting new people and collecting their stories and thoughts,experiences of and feelings about, the place where they live and work.

Starting with Hope Street, we will aim to move about the City centre collecting images and stories as we go …