Just lately there has been much love shown to my hometown; Bradford. Usually the city is a butt of someone's joke or held up as an example of all that is wrong with 'multicultural' and 'segregated' Britain. But, just lately, this has changed and instead of the lazy stereotypes we have been feted as an example of all that is positive about multicultural Britain.
Thanks to some ill-considered programme making by Channel 4, whose recent two-part social experiment to "Make Bradford British" caused an upswell in indignation, there has been a plethora of bloggers, writers and journalists (as well as many everyday Bradfordians) who have stood up and declared their allegiance to our city.
Much has been written already about the TV programme and its slanted portrayals by better writers and advocates than me. I refer you to their words at this point. Kate Wellham, Irna Qureshi, Bradfordia, John Atkinson and others all write passionately, wittily and wisely about Worstedopolis!
But my point is that whatever your take on the media's representations or other people's prejudices, they have stirred up debate around some issues that we still do not like talking about. As Oscar Wilde said, "There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about" and people are certainly talking about us now. What has pleased me the most is that, at last, we have sidled out from under the shadow of Leeds and have begun to be positive about our home. I won't add to the word count on the matter any further but below are some photos I have taken over the past year or so as the city has begun to hold its head up.