A project seeking to raise awareness of and support for homelessness and displacement in the Manchester area has pieced together a photographic interpretation of Manchester by some of its newest residents, asylum seekers who’ve taken refuge in the area.
Run by Symmetry Manchester, a socially conscious creative agency co-founded by city centre councillor Beth Knowles and MCR Print Fair’s Alessandra Mostyn, and supported by Boaz Trust and The Booth Centre, the exhibition paints a post-referendum picture with images captured during a time of looming hostility and vitriol experienced as an after-effect of the Brexit majority.
Also only a week on from the politically motivated shooting of Jo Cox, who offered much of her life to helping those in need, the visual results are both revealing of Manchester’s idiosyncrasies and some of its juxtapositions seldom noticed by longer-term residents.
Significantly, the scenes are selected by those who may be most affected by the referendum result. One participant, an Iranian named Sahand, said, “I didn’t want to come to England, I just ran and when I opened my eyes I was in Manchester.” It’s a comment that neatly outlines the ethos of the exhibition as a means to stop and see the city from new angles, appreciating just how welcoming Manchester is and can become.
The exhibition launches on Monday 25 July with an event from 6pm and runs until 15 August.
Corn Exchange (Cathedral Gardens Entrance)