Manchester Histories Festival

Manchester Histories Festival is back! Returning for its eighth edition from the 8-12 June 2022.

The Festival will bring communities, individuals, cultural organisations, education institutes and charities together in a way that has never been done before in the region, to explore the history of climate change and its future path. This theme will lead the five-day festival in which most of the events are FREE and take place at venues across Greater Manchester. As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, it is apt that this most radical and change-making of regions should host a festival about climate change. It will do so with a series of ambitious, bold and challenging events. Exhibitions, performances, author talks, workshops and talks all await discovery.

The University of Manchester has worked closely with the festival team this year to put on some of these key events, such as Dr Aditya Ramesh and Dr Jenna Ashton’s talk about how the city of Manchester and its vast empire of cotton had an imprint across the British colonial world, as well as how merchants from Manchester left a global legacy of ecological transformation through large scale cotton plantations.

Creative Manchester and Sustainable Futures will showcase important research about climate change, such as work from Professors Vladimir Jankovic and Matthew Paterson who will focus on the different ways in which climate change is depicted in relation to class, floods, veganism and fast fashion. Students from the University have also signed up to be volunteers at the festival, each receiving carbon literacy training and the opportunity to support the festival through several roles, including event support, artist liaison, evaluation and acting as ambassadors to encourage audiences to take part in the festival events.

Celebration Day, a much-loved part of the festival, will take place at The Monastery Manchester on Sunday 12 June (11am – 4pm, free entry) with more than 50 stalls representing museums, heritage buildings, archives and societies. The Grade II listed building will play host to a day of activities that includes creative workshops, musical performances and even a pop-up museum courtesy of Manchester Museum. The A to Z of stallholders features everyone from The Pankhurst Trust, Working Class Movement Library and the University of Manchester School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Karen Shannon, CEO of Manchester Histories, says: “It feels wonderful to be bringing a full-scale Manchester Histories Festival to life once again. In many ways, the last couple of years has brought people closer together and it is only by continuing this in our approach to climate change that we are going to make the progress needed. Our aim is to share learnings and insight from the past, to bring people together to ask questions and seek solutions, and to look to the future collectively. We will be doing this with an exciting programme of events full of different and creative ways of exploring climate change.

  • Take a look at the online programme here for further information and to book events.