Sound from the Stores – Darkest Hour

On 12 May 2016 we welcomed sound artists  Falk Morawitz & Guillaume Dujat to the museum as part of our Manchester After Hours Sound from the Stores commission. We are delighted to share a video of their performance, which was inspired by PHM’s collections.

 Program Note:

”Darkest Hour“ is a sound-centric multimedia piece based on materials located in the People’s History Museum’s Archive concerning the refugee situation during the First and Second World War. The performance mixes the materials of the archive with sound and audio snippets concerning the current refugee debate, illustrating the timelessness of the issue. In the light of repeating history, we hope to demonstrate the relevance of the archival material in present day.

Live: – Audio visual performance, ~13 minutes (premiered 12.05.2016 at the People’s History Museum Manchester). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIzFJPzyPxw

Installation: – Fixed audio visual installation, 11.30 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9_5gogeMVo

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Fabric of Protest Session 4: Starting the banner!

Artist Helen Mather has been working with the Learning Team at PHM to run monthly textile workshops The Fabric of Protest where participants can create their own piece of protest art in response to the museum’s collections and learn new textile techniques. The group are currently looking at the Match Girls’ Strike of 1888 and working on a banner piece to commemorate the bravery of the young women and the start of unionism as we know it today.

You can read Helen’s latest blog post about the most recent session. You can follow the group’s journey on Helen’s tumblr blog.

We had a number of new participants this month working alongside our regulars doing some excellent stitching and creative collaborations.

We welcomed a group of lecturers in textiles and fashion from Huddersfield University, a London fashion student about to go on her travels around Europe and two women who were off to do some cycling activism (there’s definitely a banner in there somewhere!).

We discussed the project so far and the ideas behind the Match Girl banner before setting to work on the first job, stitching the words. We used a mixture of appliqué and trapunto quilting to raise the surface of the letters. It was a great start and its exciting to see something grow from everyone’s contributions.

One of our regulars, Tricia has been attending a broadcasting course at all FM in Levenshulme and was armed with a zoom recorder to interview participants, Lisa and myself about the work we have been doing together. She was pretty impressive behind the mic, a natural it seems! We look forward to hearing her piece once its been edited.

A lot of tea drinking and chatting whilst stitching, ideas and conversations flowing freely, exchanges of knowledge and skills passing effortlessly, what a great session! Thank you to all who attended, I hope you had as much fun as I did, though it really did go too fast…

The next Fabric of Protest workshop will be on Saturday 20 August. Future workshops are Thurs 15 September, Sat 22 Oct and Thurs 17 Nov

 

Political Leadership After Brexit – Have Your Say

A guest blog by Mark Krantz

29 April & Fri 27 May 2016, Have Your Say! @ People's History Museum

With Teresa May now Prime Minister, and Jeremy Corbyn facing a leadership challenge …

It’s Time For You To Have Your Say!

‘A week is a long time in politics’ said Harold Wilson.

In the ‘weeks’ since the Brexit vote, politics in Britain has seen much turmoil and change. Teresa May has become the new leader of the Conservative Party. We now have a new Prime Minister. Jeremy Corbyn contests an election for the leadership of the Labour Party. What will be the outcome? After an audio visual update on the current situation from tutor Mark Krantz, we will have a discussion in which you can have your say on what is happening in the political parties today.

We will also look at relevant material from the museum’s collections, including the Labour Pains: Intra-Party Tensions and Divisions, from Cole to Corbyn exhibition that is on show at the museum Mon 25 July – Thurs 1 September. This exhibition has been created with the University of Sheffield to examine past and present tensions within the Labour Party.

Join us to Have Your Say on Political Leadership After Brexit at PHM this Friday 29 July 1.00pm -3.00pm, booking required through Eventbrite: http://haveyoursayjuly.eventbrite.co.uk

**Please note– we will take a summer break from our monthly Have Your Say events in August and they will return in September, moving to the last Thursday of the month. The autumn dates will be Thurs 29 September, Thurs 27 October and Thurs 24 November. Topics for these dates are yet to be decided.

 

Stories to inspire us

A guest post by Matt Hill (Quiet Loner), our Songwriter-in-Residence. The residency’s aim is to interpret the museum’s collection through songs and in doing so increase public engagement with the collection. The project has been supported by a grant from Arts Council England.

4 June 2016, The Battle for the Ballot - the people's fight for the right to vote @ People's History Museum

For the past few months I’ve been immersed in the museum’s collections researching the history of the vote. I’ve been writing songs inspired by this and on June 4th I’ll present them for the first time in a new show as part of Manchester Histories Festival.

The idea of Universal Suffrage has it’s roots far back in history but I’ve started with the democratic awakening of the late 1700s and moved through the various Reform Acts of the 19th century. It’s a story that takes in appalling events like the Peterloo Massacre, popular movements like Chartism and culminates in the law breaking tactics of the Women’s Suffrage movement that finally led to Universal Suffrage in 1928.

In order to write the best songs I can, I’ve tried to read as much as I can about the people and events, especially drawing from first hand accounts of people who were there at the time. I’ve also sought out objects from the collections that might trigger ideas or inspiration. One item in the collection which fascinates me is the desk on which Thomas Paine wrote the Rights of Man. This was the starting point for a song exploring the ideas of Paine and his contemporary Mary Wollstonecraft. But it was the desk itself that provided the first lines of a song called “Nothing less than revolution”. “It’s been seven days now since I sat down at this desk The darkened oak is stained with sweat, my hands they seem possessed

as I write about the Rights of Man, how everyone has worth,

and the wrongs of handing power down through lines of noble birth”

I’ve also taken inspiration from the shiny sabres belonging to the Manchester Yeomanry at Peterloo, from prints of mass Chartist meetings, from satirical cartoons of the Hyde Park disturbances in 1867, from anti-Suffragette propaganda postcards and from the kitchen of suffragist Hannah Mitchell which is recreated in Gallery One. In each case something has triggered a line, phrase or image that has become the building block of a new song.

The fight for the right to vote is such an epic story with so many twists and turns and I’ve just an hour to tell it. But I hope that the stories within the songs will inspire people to come to the People’s History Museum and explore the collection themselves. There is so much worth seeking out.

The Battle for the Ballot premières as part of Manchester Histories festival on Sat 4 June. Reserve your place here.

 

 

Have Your Say on ‘Do we ‘really’ live in a democracy?’ on Friday 27 May

A guest post by Mark Krantz

29 April & Fri 27 May 2016, Have Your Say! @ People's History Museum
The battle to win the vote for all took over almost one hundred years. Today we have universal suffrage, election of representatives by ballot, and a referendum to decide on membership of the EU.

However, the question of how democratic is Britain is up for discussion.

Where as once there was the demand for ‘no taxation without representation’, today the Panama papers reveal that for the corporations and for some of the richest people in society, taxation is for other people to pay.

The Hillsborough inquest revealed that for years sections of the police conspired to avoid being accountable for their actions. Are they beyond democratic control and accountability?

Decision making over health has been devolved to an appointed interim mayor for Greater Manchester, despite an election that rejected an elected mayor for Manchester.

Opponents of this development believe that ‘Devo Manc’ is ‘undemocratic.’ There will though be an election next year for the post of Greater Manchester Mayor.

Come to the Have Your Say event at the People’s History Museum on Friday 27 May and discuss: Do we ‘really’ live in a democracy?

These monthly discussions will take on the last Friday of the month 1.00pm – 3.00pm, future dates are 24 June and 29 July 2016.  Have Your Say on June 24, will focus on ‘What next after the EU referendum results have been announced?’

 

Have Your Say on the EU Referendum

Leaflets_Yes and No_last_European_referendum+PHMarchiveWhether you are for staying, for leaving, or are have yet to decide – come to this Have Your Say! event at the People’s History Museum on Friday 29th April, 1.00 – 3.00pm.

There will be an informative and balanced discussion, suitable for the outspoken as well as those who are keen to listen. This is the first of a series of monthly discussions on political talking points at the People’s History Museum. Mark Krantz will help establish what are the facts and what are opinions.

We will examine relevant artefacts from the PHM archives. A full discussion will follow on the EU referendum.

More details of the event as well how to book online are on the PHM website

You can book directly via Eventbrite

These monthly discussions will take on the last Friday of the month 1.00 -3.00pm, Upcoming dates are:  27 May, 24 June and 29 July 2016

The Fabric of Protest Monthly Workshop

Artist Helen Mather has been working with the Learning Team at the museum to run textile workshops that explore and respond to collections and displays. Following the success of these workshops, Helen will be running a monthly The Fabric of Protest workshop where participants can create their own piece of protest art that reflects the issues that are important to them.

Starting this Friday 15 April, Helen will be asking participants to the use a range of protest materials, including ribbons, rosettes, patches, flags and badges, to contribute to an art piece using their slogan for change. Participants will produce individual pieces that will combine to create a collaborative installation that will be displayed in the museum. Participants can attend an individual workshop or join us on a regular basis to shape how the installation develops. Groups can book onto these sessions by contacting Lisa Gillen on 0161 838 9190 or emailing learning@phm.org.uk

You can find more about the previous fabric workshops Helen has held at the museum on her tumblr blog.

Or you can visit the museum to see the installation from The Fabric of Protest workshops Helen recently held for International Women’s Day; this is on display until the end of April 2016.  In these workshops participants created their slogans of change for women today.

The Fabric of Protest workshops will run on Fri 15 April, Fri 13 May, Sat 18 June, Fri 15 July & Sat 20 August, 1.30-3.30pm. You can book onto these via Eventbrite or by calling the museum on 0161 838 9190.