How do you define a hero? For Creative Black Country, a hero exists in all walks of life, day in, day out - many of whom go unnoticed and underappreciated. It is with this realisation that in 2017 the collective launched the 100 Masters programme, aimed at recognising and honoring the movers and shakers of the arts and crafts that make the UK’s industrial heartland as creatively and economically thriving as it is. During this period, CBC creative producer Liam Smyth also took part in a three-week residency in Semarang, hosted and assisted by Grobak Hysteria. Not only did he did do what he set out to do, which was creating the augmented reality heritage trail for the city’s most renowned and artistic sites, in the process Liam was also inspired by the creative encounters he made.
From a public speaking instructor to a bamboo-wielding craftsman and from a streetside florist to a coffee entrepreneur, as it turns out there is no shortage of strong, inspiring individuals that keep the spirit of a city alive, be it in Semarang, Birmingham (where Liam hails from) or Wolverhampton. It was in the latter city that he reunited with Grobak Hysteria’s Adin Mbuh earlier this year for the Creative People and Place Conference, where the two further developed the plan to bring the 100 Masters programme to Semarang.
A full year and a successful collaboration later, the two are back where they started. This time around, they aim to showcase not only what the city of Semarang is capable of, but also what its people do on a daily basis that, in their unique, small way, prove time and again that a city is always made whole by the sum of its parts. And as part of this year’s UK/ID Festival, look out for The Other Festival, where Liam and Adin’s completed 100 Masters of Semarang campaign will be screened for the first time ever in all its cinematic glory. See you on November 2-4 at Hotel Monopoli!