Black Radical History

The museum is delighted to continue to work with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) to host a series of courses in autumn 2016. You can find out more about the Black Radical History course in our guest blog from WEA tutor Mark Krantz, who is leading the course.

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For Black History Month, a course to explore how Black radicals have made history. From opposition to slavery and the battle for the vote, to the fight against racism and Islamophobia, and the question of supporting refugees today. The course includes a presentation from Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and a visit to the PHM’s archives and galleries.

The uprising of slaves on the sugar island of Saint-Domingue began in 1791 and lasted for 13 years. A slave army led by Toussaint-Louverture defeated the professional armies sent to crush the revolt. Spain, France and Britain were defeated and the slaves won their freedom in the country known today as Haiti.

William Cuffay was a Chartist leader at the forefront of the struggle to win the vote in Britain. Cuffay was the son of a former slave, he led strikes, spoke at meetings, and led protests of mainly white workers across the country.

When Abraham Lincoln declared the abolition of slavery during the American Civil War, 30 former slaves who had escaped to Britain spoke at meetings in the Manchester area. They played a crucial role in winning workers to support the union struggle that defeated the army of the slave holding states of the Southern Confederacy.

Too often the role of black people in the struggles for their own liberation is omitted from history. This course places black radicals at the centre of historical change, exploring the history and politics of race, and strategies for fighting racism.

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This course will cover

  • Opposition to slavery, and the American Civil War
  • William Cuffay and the fight for the vote
  • Racism and anti racism from the 1970s until today
  • Rebel women from Farhat Khan, and Lydia Besong, to Manjeet Kaur and Aderonke Apata
  • The challenge of Islamophobia, stereotyping, and the Prevent agenda

Suitable for people aged 19 years and over

Course runs Friday 7 October to Friday 4 November 2016

1.00pm – 3.30pm

Cost £40.30 or free to those in receipt of means tested benefits

Booking Requirements: Booking required by contacting WEA on 0151 243 5340 or booking online via WEA’s website. Please quote course ref C3839448

*Please note this is a five week course, attendees are required to book onto all five weeks of the course*

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Zombie Capitalism and its discontents: The economics and politics of austerity

The museum is delighted to continue to work with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) to host a series of courses in autumn 2016. You can find out more about the Zombie Capitalism and its discontents course in our guest blog from WEA tutor Mark Krantz, who is leading the course.

26-september-3-october-zombie-capitalism-and-its-discontents-the-economics-and-politics-of-austerity-wea-course-peoples-history-museum-photograph-mark-krantzSince the economic crash of 2008 austerity has been imposed on the people by politicians and bankers.  Today the need for austerity is being challenged.  This course will examine various explanations of economic crises, as well as the impact of austerity on people and politics today.

Faced with the financial crisis that began in 2007, some commentators talked of the dangers of ‘zombie banks’.  Too many financial institutions had lent money they did not have, to people who could never pay them back.  This led to the ‘banking crisis’.  As the banks got bailed out, their debts were taken over by nation states, which in order to balance their books, brought in harsh cuts and an economic policy of austerity.  With no signs of an end to the economic crisis, increasingly people are challenging the assumption that austerity is necessary.  Some economists are predicting even more economic uncertainty, others a long recession or even another crash.

This course will study:

  • Previous economic crises, and the crisis today
  • The impact of austerity on the people and on politics
  • We will consider competing economic theories; from Neoliberalism to Keynesianism, Marxism to Corbynomics, as well as current theories of economic inequality
  • Look at current protest movements, the political and electoral consequences of austerity, as well as alternative economic futures.

Suitable for people aged 19 years and over

Course runs Mon 26 September to Mon 5 December (half term break on Mon 24 October), 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Cost £65.10 or free to those in receipt of means tested benefits

Booking Requirements: Booking required by contacting WEA on 0151 243 5340 or booking online via WEA’s website. Please quote course ref C3839453

*Please note this is a ten week course, attendees are required to book onto all ten weeks of the course*

 

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.

 

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.

Who mined the coal? Who ran the locomotives? Who built the Manchester Ship Canal?

5 February - 4 March 2016, WEA Course - British Photogrpahy & Industrial Society. Navvies, Manchester Ship Canal by W E Birtles © Chethams LibraryA guest blog by WEA tutor Mark Krantz

The coal owners, engineers, contractors, and financiers were all crucial. But without ‘grafters’ the coal would remain underground, trains could not run, and the Ship Canal would never have been built.  The photographic exhibition Grafters: Industrial society in image and word brings to life those who were central to the productive processes – the workers who did the hard grafting.

Pit brow girls from Wigan, locomotive cleaners from Lancashire, navvies who dug the ship canal, all are brought to life in enhanced photographs.photographer Ian Beesley

Leading documentary photographer Ian Beesley has curated this exhibition. To accompany these scenes of industrial life, Ian McMillan, the ‘Bard of Barnsley’, has written new poems giving new voice to the unknown people captured in the images.

To discover more about the history, politics, and technology that inform this exhibition the Workers’ Education Association (WEA) is running a five week course at the People’s History Museum, led by tutor Mark Krantz.

The exhibition curator Ian Beesley will give a guided tour of the exhibition and lead a discussion about the photographs.

This five week course started on Friday 5 February and will run until Friday 4 March.website

Find out more about the WEA courses that run at PHM please check the museum’s website.

Grafters will be on show until Sunday 14 August. Please check  the What’s On section of the museum’s website for details of theWhat’s On events programme that will run alongside the exhibition.

 

Money Matters?

A-Level Economic students from Xaverian College took part in Money Matters? Patchwork quilt workshop on Friday 13 November 2015.  Most of the group had not visited the museum before so it was fantastic opportunity to learn more about the museum and explore and discuss our current changing exhibition Show Me the Money: The image of Finance from 1700 to the present. The group had a tour of the exhibition with our Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Chris Burgess and then took part in patchwork quilt workshop with artist Helen Mather. The group led a fascinating discussion about how they valued money, how the market was visualised, what the market and finance means to them and its meaning in the world today. You can find out more from the students themselves in the blog below.  Another group of Economics students from Xaverian took part in another Money Matters workshop later in December.

Show Me the Money will be on display until Sunday 24 January 2016.  We are working with a range of groups to create their own patchwork pieces in response to themes explored in the exhibition. Each piece represents a collection of voices, as a whole it is a community of people brought together by stitch. The patchwork pieces will be on display in the museum until Sunday 24 January 2016.  

A Level Economic students were invited into the People’s History Museum for a guided tour of the Show Me the Money: The image of Finance from 1700 to the present exhibition.  This exhibition attempts to question ‘what is money’ and the value we place and trust in it.

This exhibition asks: what does ‘the market’ look like? What does money really stand for?  How can the abstractions of high finance be made visible?  Who is finance for?  All money is a matter of belief and if that belief is shattered then a financial crisis will inevitable occur.  The exhibition charts how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration, photography and other visual media over the last three centuries in Britain and the United States.Show-me-the-money-(3)

A2 Economics student Nomsa Mwimbi said, “The ‘Show me the Money’ exhibition combined philosophy, politics and economics so seamlessly that it required anyone viewing it to think deeply. History never looked so good.”

Show-me-the-money-(1)Hinda Ismail said, “I really enjoyed how money was illustrated in an artistic way since normally money is seen as just numbers and figures and not everyone really understands the impact it has, not only on our lives but to the change in society.”

Sumer Bhatti said, “The trip was a very educational experience. I never really thought about the concept of money or money in general, I just spent it whenever I got it. However, this trip taught me some fascinating elements about finance and money. For example, the digital version of the stock markets was a fun way to show the fluctuation in stocks.”Show-me-the-money-(5)

After the tour the students then attended a workshop to create their image of money in today’s world. They worked with an artist, Helen Mather, who quizzed them and debated with them about what the role of money meant to them individually. Each student then worked on an image and designed a piece of a patchwork quilt which at the end was stitched together to create a full patchwork quilt. Show-me-the-money-(6)This patchwork will now be on display at the museum for all to see in the future!