Work in Progress – the final fortnight

Work in Progress photomontageI’m writing this sat in my office in Work in Progress for the final time.  I’ve spent the past couple of weeks creating a photomontage that I’ve used to cover the calendar in the exhibition.  It’s been great looking back at the photos from the start of the exhibition and seeing how much it’s progressed.

Re-Telling WorkshopWe’ve had lots of fantastic events over the past fortnight. On Thursday 4 September Sophia Gardiner, artist in residence at Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research (RAPAR) delivered Re-Telling: Scapegoats, Media & Politics. The workshop encouraged participants to cut up newspaper headlines to create responses to negative stories about migrants. You can read Sophia’s blog post about the workshop here.

7 September 2014, Protest Photography @ People's History Museum (1)This was followed by a weekend of photography workshops. On the Saturday Curated Place returned for their Secret Cities Immersion – Manchester Hidden Spaces Workshop.  Then on the Sunday photographer Stephen Speed joined us for Protest Photography, a really interesting discussion on the ethics and aesthetics of protest photography. It was a real insight into the processes and considerations a photojournalist undertakes.

Internally, we held our events meeting in the workshop space on Monday 8 September, to finalise our Winter Events programme. Marge Ainsley joined us on Wednesday 3 September to deliver observational research training.  We’re going to be using this to analyse visitors’ responses to our Welcome Wall as we test out ideas to redevelop it.

13 September 2014, Wollstonecraftivism @ People's History Museum (35)Our final weekend of events kicked off yesterday with Wollstonecraftivism led by the fantastic No More Page 3.  After discussions about representations of women in our galleries, including Mary Wollstonecraft and Rose Queens, the participants stitched messages into a wedding dress. As you can see, the final product is brilliant!

Which leads me to today, the final day of the exhibition. Sashwati Mira Sengupta and Jaydev Mistry popped in this morning to install Protest, Migration and Workers Rights, an AV installation that was created after their Microresidency. I’ve also had a few familiar faces come and say hello and it’s been lovely to reflect on all the great activities we’ve had throughout the exhibition.  I’ll write another blog post in a few weeks to reflect on the whole process, but for now I’m going to sign off and in true Work in Progress style begin to take down the exhibition so everyone can see the process from start to finish.

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