“You see the trouble but you don’t understand my struggle.”
A new collaboration between people who have experienced homelessness and local artists will be shown at the People's History Museum on Monday 11 June 2018 as part of Manchester Histories Festival.
'Moving Panoramas' will combine visual arts with original songwriting to create a performance piece centred around scrolling artworks that reflect on our past but also give voice to experiences in the present.
Arts organisation arthur+martha’s lead artist Lois Blackburn and singer songwriter Matt Hill (Quiet Loner) have worked with people from the Booth Centre, a day centre in Manchester for those who have experienced homelessness. Taking inspiration from the People's History Museum they have created songs and artworks that explore the rich history of Manchester's streets as well as their own personal histories and stories.
As the project began it became clear that museums are places some homeless people like to go to. One of the project participants said “I've visited more museums since I've been homeless than I ever did before”. The People's History Museum with its story of the struggles of ordinary working people provided lots of ideas that have been expanded and explored to create the new work.
The songs and artworks created speak of 21st century issues such as debt, living in poverty and lack of representation. They also draw parallels with similar struggles from the 19th and 20th centuries. The idea of struggle was one of the main themes to emerge. Gary from Salford who was recently homeless said of the Booth Centre “Everyone who comes here finds something a struggle, from the past, present or the future.” Gary later reflected on that in lyrics for a song he wrote called 'I've seen you there' - “I’ve seen you there but you have no time to spare. You see the trouble but you don’t understand my struggle.”
The performance, taking place from 12.00pm to 1.00pm on Monday 11 June 2018, will be filmed and will feature some of the project participants from the Booth Centre performing alongside the scrolling artworks. The performance has been created in response to the People’s History Museum’s collections, and on issues within their exhibition Represent! Voices 100 Years On which runs from Saturday 2 June 2018 to Sunday 3 February 2019. The project has been supported by a grant from Arts Council England.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, will show his support for local homeless charity the Booth Centre by joining its team for the Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20th May.
To highlight the ongoing work to support frontline projects which aim to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping across the city-region, the Mayor will run alongside visitors, staff, volunteers and supporters of the charity as part of Team Booth Centre.
Following his election as Mayor last year, Andy announced his goal to end the need for rough sleeping across Greater Manchester by 2020 and reduce homelessness across the city-region. Each month he donates 15% of his salary to the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, which aims to provide vital support for local charities combating the prevalent issue of homelessness. The fund has raised more than £107,000 so far in aid of these charities.
In the past year the Mayor has shown support for the work of the Booth Centre which brings about positive, long-term change in the homeless community by providing advice on finding permanent accommodation, education and training, as well as helping to secure employment. Andy has visited the Centre many times, taking the time to consult with visitors who are homeless or sleeping rough on the streets.
Andy will be joining a team of 140 Booth Centre runners on Sunday 20th May to participate in the Great Manchester Run, an event which is now in its 16th year.
Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester is developing genuinely innovative solutions to tackling homelessness. We are building a movement for change across our city-region with the clear goal of ending the need for rough sleeping here by 2020.
“I’ve seen first-hand the work that the Booth Centre is doing to transform the lives of homeless people, those rough sleeping and those at risk of homelessness in Greater Manchester.
“The Centre’s approach, helping to tackle this humanitarian crisis on the streets of our city-region, is to be commended. I wanted to show my support for what they do. It is an honour to be running with the visitors, staff, volunteers and supporters, all of whom are having such a positive impact on the lives of so many who need help and support.”
Amanda Croome, CEO at the Booth Centre commented: “Andy recognises the scale of homelessness across the city and this is an issue that we are working tirelessly to address here at the Centre. We are forever grateful for his support.
“By taking part in the Great Manchester Run, Andy and our team will be raising awareness and vital funds which will enable us to help even more vulnerable people rebuild their lives.”
To support Team Booth Centre and the charity’s work helping homeless people in the city, visit www.justgiving.com/boothcentregmr