Next February, the People’s History Museum will embark on a new type of exhibition. Election! Britain Votes, will be the most experimental and contemporary show PHM has ever programmed. It will explore historical elections using our wide collection; explain how and why a nation goes to vote and what the importance is to society today.
We will chart historical elections including all the memorable moments which represented a general election from 1900. As the home of democracy, the People’s History Museum is best placed to tell this history, and our collection will take our visitors on a whirlwind tour of posters, pamphlets and pipes (Harold Wilson’s pipe, to be specific) from 1900 to 2010. In each of these elections we’ll also chart key facts and issues including the winners, losers, male to female ratio of MPs and of course all the moments you may remember.
In the second part of the exhibition, we’ll also attempt to explain how the life of a vote works. Elections and all the rules and processes behind them can be confusing so this exhibition will break down the life of the election from it being called to the result being announced, explaining all the things which make a general election happen.
Finally, we hope to create a space which will reflect the changing contemporary landscape and will chart the 2015 general election as it unfolds. This area will be fluid; it will evolve with the debate and will provide an interactive space in which to connect with politics today. We are looking for people to come and use this space to debate, chat, hold a public meeting or run a session. The space will display posters and leaflets as they are distributed throughout the UK and will work as a space to reflect as well as engage. If you would be interested in using this exhibition to evoke debate and conversation amongst a group, discuss how to get issues you care about on the agenda, or talk about the election may affect your life, get in touch with the museum at email@example.com .
As part of this year’s Parliament Week, the People’s History Museum are holding our very own politics festival- POLLfest- an exciting series of events all based around this year’s theme, women in democracy. Parliament Week is a government initiative which aims to inspire, engage and connect people with parliamentary democracy. Running from Friday 15 November to Thursday 21 November, PHM will hold discussions, debates, displays, comedy and much more!
Friday 15 will see visitors come and learn more about women’s contribution to democratic life in a specialised gallery tour and those who would like to stick around will be treated to some unique material from our Labour History and Archive Centre as well as the chance to go behind the scenes in an archive tour. Booking is advised- call the museum on 01618389190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be holding two events on Saturday 16 November, a debate in the afternoon, and a Pecha Kucha event in the evening. The debate will look at the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, as a whole, and more specifically her legacy to women in senior political roles. We are still in the process of confirming speakers for this debate, so stay tuned for more exciting announcements! Pecha Kucha will be held from 6pm in our Engine Hall, and will feature 6 speakers talking for 20 seconds on 20 slides. Themes for the speakers will be on a whole host of topics including politics, social revolts and art. Our cafe bar will also be open for drinks, what more reason do you need to book! Tickets are free and can be claimed via Eventbrite.
On Sunday 17 November, we will be hosting our very own comedy spectacular from 4pm in the museum. We will have performances from Do Not Adjust Your Stage who will provide us with improvised fun based on scenes and stories in the People’s History Museum. Stand-up comedian Grainne Maguire will headline the evening with her ‘One Hour All Night Election Special’ show. Both acts have received rave reviews from past performances, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them to PHM! Tickets are free but donations would be gratefully received- book them via Eventbrite.
Check back for more POLLfest announcements, and get booking your tickets- it’s set to be an amazing few days!