Catalyst Event 1: Food for thought…



A guest post from Harriet

Manchester Museum is entering an exciting period of change led by Esme Ward, our first ever female director. hello future will see a transformed building along with new exhibition spaces and new ways of working with our visitors and communities. We have a £13 million 3 year project to build new world-class exhibition spaces, entrance, and shop, Chinese culture gallery and of course, the South Asia Gallery.

This will be the North’s largest gallery of South Asian history and culture and the UK’s only permanent gallery dedicated to exploring the experiences of South Asian diaspora communities.  It’s a landmark partnership with the British Museum and will include a performance space at its heart – for music, dance, spoken word, film and performance – from and inspired by South Asia. So what will this new space look like? We don’t want this to be a civic commemoration, we want to explore emotional connections, to be more inclusive and imaginative.

MM at Vermillion
Museum staff at Vermillion for the South Asia Gallery catalyst event

On 12th July we invited a diverse group of community leaders, educators, artists and performers, faith leaders and business people to the magnificent Vermillion restaurant in Manchester, who had kindly offered to host our first catalyst event. The event was designed to bring people together to share what is important to them and tell us what they care about. We are asking people to come on an exciting journey with us, to explore what they are passionate about and we hope that through the co-curation of a series of anthologies this will form the basis of our new gallery.

The afternoon was really enjoyable and feedback from guests expressed a tangible sense of enthusiasm for what comes next. Over the next few weeks, we will be continuing our conversations and refining ideas, so watch this space for follow-up posts.

If you want to join us on this journey and are interested in finding out about future events then please contact Alia Ullah.


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