My Manchester: an exhibition of photographs from the perspective of the homeless and displaced


My Manchester is a photography project working with people affected by displacement and homelessness in the city.

The photographs allow you to explore the light and dark, public and private sides of the city as never before. It’s part of a project which has seen twenty people on the streets use disposable cameras to capture their experiences.

Everyday objects are suddenly given new significance and you will see new ways of looking at the streets which may help you appreciate the place in a whole different way.

Inspired by Café Art’s My London initiative, the exhibition aims to draw attention to homelessness and the humanity of the people affected.

The project is in three phases. The first phase, documenting homelessness, began at Chapter One Books on Lever Street and expanded as it moved from venue to venue across Manchester, with many photographs being added along the way. It’s currently showing at Takk in the Northern Quarter.

The second phase of the exhibition recently opened in the Corn Exchange with a particular focus on the experience of  asylum seekers in Manchester. A number of these people captured their own experiences of the momentous EU Referendum and its aftermath using single-use cameras. The result is incredibly moving in what was a monumental few days in British politics.


One photographer revealed their reasoning  behind photographing what appears to be a simple sign in the city centre: “The first word you learn when you come to the UK is wait. This word is said and repeated more than any other word.”

Phase three this will consist of My Manchester working with Manchester Action on Street Health and finding an exhibition space big enough to display all three phases together.

“The inspiration was to develop a visual narrative for people to showcase their own stories and be seen as photographers, not the labels others people place upon them, whilst sharing some of the city’s most important and ostracised voices,” says Beth Knowles, director of Symmetry Creative, who was involved in the development of the project.

The latest selection of photographs – a compilation of phase 1 and 2 – is on display in the Corn Exchange close to the Cathedral Gardens entrance until August 22.

This is a story of the city which needs to be seen rather than heard. For more info see the MyManchester Instagram @mymanc

Organisations and businesses owners interested in showcasing the exhibition on their premises and play a crucial part in spreading awareness should contact Symmetry Creative.

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