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2021 Reader Favourites

6 January 2022

Image of Clockwise Sisters Uncut protest, London, 2018 (c) Holly Falconer, Fan, bearing signatures of the International Brigade, around 1936 & Aldermaston Protest, 1958. Both PHM & Alien Anthropologists (c)

Journey through People’s History Museum’s (PHM) migration themed year with our top read blogs of 2021. From queer migrant journeys to the right to protest, thousands of you read about ideas worth fighting for on the PHM blog last year.  These are the stories you enjoyed most.

2021 Reader Favourites

Queer Journeys Zine 1

Illustrating queer migrant journeys

In our most read blog of 2021, artist Youcef Hadjazi reflects on the Queer Journeys project, a zine produced out of a series of creative workshops for LGBTQ+ migrants based in the UK.  Hadjazi discusses his own experiences as a queer person who migrated to the UK and the process of trying to define his sexuality and gender in a new culture.  Our 2021 programme theme focused on migration; in this blog Hadjazi provides an important perspective of intersecting identities.

Left to right Alien Anthropologist mask & Alien Anthropologists walk through Manchester city centre. Photographs courtesy of

Behind the masks: Five ‘masks’ from PHM’s collection

Masks have become a staple of our daily lives over the last two years, piquing your curiosity about the use of masks through history.  Former Senior Visitor Experience’s Callum White introduced our readers to a range of masks in the PHM collection, from an oil painting of a nurse to satirical alien protesters.

Sisters Uncut protest, London, 2018 © Holly Falconer

10 famous protests the Policing Bill would have threatened

This year, PHM has partnered with other organisations to campaign against UK legislation which threatens human rights. Since September, we have urged the government to rethink their approach to the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill.  Our readers wanted to find out more by revisiting history to inform the present, with this blog from Amnesty detailing 10 famous protests that the Policing Bill would have threatened.

Aldermaston protest,1958. Image courtesy of People's History Museum

Dangers of technological surveillance in policing public protests

The right to protest in the UK is being threatened in more ways than one. In this blog, Holly Barrow, Political Correspondent for the Immigration Advice Service, explores the dangers of using surveillance to suppress protests.  UK police departments admitted to using drone surveillance to monitor protests across the country, including Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and climate crisis demonstrations.

Fan, bearing signatures of members of the International Brigade, around 1936. Image courtesy of People's History Museum

This far and no further

The Spanish Civil War began 85 years ago in 1936. You joined PHM’s Collections Manager Sam Jenkins to explore the role of the UK in the conflict and the war’s legacy today.  The blog also features a fan from the PHM collection, signed by men from the International Brigade, a collection of different nationalities who travelled to Spain to fight for the Republican cause.

Left to right PHM Programme Officer Michael Powell, PHM Community Curators Anis Akhtar, Hannah Ross, Ruth Malkin and Alison Wilde and PHM Exhibition Officer Mark Wilson (2)

Nothing about us without us

Many of you were also interested in looking to the future for our next programme theme: Nothing About Us Without Us.  In this blog, meet the new Community Curators who will be putting together a programme about the history of disabled people’s activism.


What to look out for

We have some exciting new blogs coming up in 2022.

Caroline Dyer will be writing for us on the 5th anniversary of the Women’s March, which took place on 21 January 2017. She is the maker of the much celebrated Women’s March placard reading ‘From the City of Pankhurst With Love’ which is now in PHM’s collection.

You can also look out for artist Seleena Laverne Daye’s review of our 2022 Banner Exhibition, which opens on Saturday 22 January 2022.

If you want to keep up to date with future blogs from PHM, take our Which Radical Are You? quiz to sign up to our regular e-newsletter.

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