Event: Home, Identity and Citizenship – The Films of Philip Donnellan.

What? You are invited to attend a screening of ‘Philip Donnellan’s The Colony’ (1964), and a discussion of an ongoing project to explore and promote the resources of the Philip Donnellan Archive.

The Colony: This innovative TV documentary explores the experience of members of the Caribbean migrant community in Birmingham and the Midlands. The film allows its subjects space to candidly evaluate their reception in the UK and their relationships with home and other migrant workers. Controversial at the time of its original broadcast the film is an enduring and powerful document of a key moment in post-war British history.

When? 6-8pm 30th June 2010

Where? Birmingham Library Theatre (

Who is this event for? Everyone is welcome but the event is particularly aimed at those with an interest in the social history of the region, post-war migration and community, documentary film and the BBC. We want to contact educators, heritage and community groups and researchers who will find Donnellan’s archive useful and who might aid in finding ways of preserving it and promoting its use as a resource for the social and cultural history of the region.

Biography: Philip Donnellan (1924-99) worked for the BBC from 1948-84. Much of his professional life was spent in the Midlands where he worked first in radio and then in television. His work expressed his belief in the value of ordinary life and culture and the need to give working people and underrepresented social minorities a space in which to articulate their concerns in their own voices. Many of this films

The project: Philip Donnellan’s un-catalogued archive is held in the Birmingham Archives and contains an extensive range of film, audio and print material pertaining to his career with the BBC and the works he made in and about the region. An award from Screen West Midlands has allowed the employment of an archive worker to assess these deposits. As a result, we are already finding rich materials such as unbroadcast films, oral histories and programme research materials.

More information: Details of Donnellan’s life and work can be found at the

‘Friends of Philip Donnellan’ website:

Subscribe to the posterous site:

Join the Facebook group:

Help? Please pass this invitation on to your networks and to those who may find the project to be of interest. If you are interested but cannot make the event, let us know and we’ll keep you informed of developments and available resources. If you can get an audience together and find a venue, we’ll be glad to come and show some of the films to you and talk about the project.

RSVP: If you wish to attend, please forward your details to:

[email protected]

Postal address:

          Dr Paul Long

Reader in Media and Cultural History

Birmingham School of Media


B42 2SU

Who is involved? The project is funded by Screen West Midlands and managed by a partnership of Birmingham Archives and Heritage, Media Archive Central England (MACE) and Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University.

Ian M Parr
Hon Secretary and Trustee of the Charles Parker Archive
10 Oakfield Close,  Bronington,  Whitchurch
SY13 3GZ
tel:  01948 780167, mobile:  0796 617 0746
[email protected]  or  [email protected]
The Charles Parker Archive is deposited in the Birmingham City Archives on the 6th Floor of the Central Library.
Charles Parker Archive Trust, registered charity no. 326082

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *