BIO.
DIVERSE.
CITY.

BIRMINGHAM
FRI 2 –
SUN 18 SEP

EDINBURGH
SAT 6 –
SUN 14 AUG

Step into a city-centre forest garden of magical proportions where you will be welcomed by an epic array of colour and nature. Towering architectural super-trees drink rainwater and create electricity using wind power, as the forest plays host to a vibrant and spectacular free events programme situated in an oasis of thousands of plants and flowers co-planted by the city’s residents. 

This super-natural wonderland uncovers the origin stories of the plants we know so well – daisies, pansies, apple trees, roses – in fact these, and most of the plants in our gardens are not from the UK. They tell the story of journeys, movement, dispersal and new roots.

PoliNations is a celebration of colour, beauty, and of natural diversity. Explore, enjoy and be your true unique self. You will experience music from around the world, an incredible light show each evening and a grand finale like no other where the super-tree’s canopies will burst into a joyful cloud of confetti and colour. This is Pride, Carnival and Holi combined in one brilliant, messy, playful all-day-all-night party and everyone is invited.

Did you know that 77%* of plants found in UK city-gardens originated overseas?!

Well, it’s true. And it is from this remarkable statistic that the idea for PoliNations first took seed. PoliNations reflects on the UK’s complex histories surrounding migration and diversity whilst celebrating our differences, our roots, and our future, and emphasising the importance of access to green spaces and a healthy planet. 

Find out more about the inspiration behind PoliNations here!  


*Statistic taken from a forthcoming study by Professor Jane Memmott, Professor of Ecology at Bristol University and President of the British Ecological Society, and colleagues.

The entire PoliNations programme will be free to enjoy and everyone is invited!
Here’s a peek into what to expect:

Edinburgh

Birmingham

GEORGE STREET

A free performance programme will take place over nine days under the canopy of our 40-foot super-trees, that will take root outside the Assembly Rooms on George Street. 

The super-tree will create a space for relaxation and creative collaboration as well as hosting a jam-packed programme of fringe artists, in collaboration with Assembly Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

VICTORIA SQUARE

The city centre will bloom into a vibrant living oasis filled with thousands of plants and brought to life through free forest tours, audio baths, live music and light shows, costume design workshops, sensory experiences, spoken word and more!

Opening Weekend: 2-4 September

PoliNations opens! Hundreds of plants will be co-planted by local communities and schools who have nurtured them from seed, ready to take pride of place in the forest garden. 

Spoken Word Weekend: 10-11 September 

In addition to regular daily programming, PoliNations will present a weekend of spoken word events, featuring performances from the brightest sparks from the local, national. and international spoken word scene. 

The Grand Finale: 15-18 September

Programming for the grand finale starts on Thursday 15 September with an acclaimed Rangoli artist creating a massive, beautiful piece of artwork that will gradually sprawl out into the forest, while Henna artists offer intricate personal designs. 

On Saturday 17 September, the canopies of the super-trees will burst into a joyful cloud of confetti and colour for the Ballistic Seed Party! This is Pride, Carnival and Holi combined into one brilliant, messy, playful all-day-all-night party and everyone is invited. You can enjoy epic performances, take part in Holi celebrations, and enjoy live music from some of the best up-and-coming talent. 

Sunday 18 September is the final day and dedicated to self-care with chilled out acoustic music, spoken word events, poetry and storytelling sessions for everyone to enjoy in the blissful oasis. Once PoliNations ends, the plants and saplings will be shared with local communities, public institutions and private homes and contribute to the growth of Birmingham’s green spaces. 

ABOUT THE TEAM

PoliNations is produced by Trigger Collective and led by Bristol-based arts organisation Trigger, drawing on experts in horticulture, arts, science and architecture.

Trigger
Award-winning creators and producers ( T he Hatchling , WithYou , Curio)

Carl Robertshaw
Multidisciplinary designer and artist (Björk, Ellie Goulding, London 2012 Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies)

Bronia Housman
Set and costume designer (Bristol Old Vic, Take That, Sadler’s Wells)

Dock Street Events
Events specialists (MIF, Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture, GDIF, Hull UK City of Culture)

Chris and Toby Marchant of Arbor-Nova Ltd
Horticultural designers (Contributors to RHS Chelsea Flower Show medal-winners, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Maggies, Royal Marsden Hospital)

THISS
Architecture, research and spatial design studio (The Bartlett, UCL, London Met)

Creative Team

Matt Daw – Light Designer (The XX, Sigur Rós, Björk) 
Joey A Frenette, aka Bourgeoisie – Costumer Designer (RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Hatchling)  
Format Engineers – Engineering Designers  

IN COLLABORATION WITH

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