Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

People’s History Museum reopens with programme exploring migration

29 April 2021

National museum of democracy reopens Wednesday 19 May 2021

Migration exhibitions at People's History Museum - My Home Is Not My Home, Still from Our Journey © Voice of Domestic Workers, 2019, Left & right Philomene & Hussain, photographs by Caira Leeming, #WELCOME? exhibition and Staying put after disaster, photograph of Romeo Frank ©Tamzin Forster

When People’s History Museum (PHM) reopens on Wednesday 19 May 2021, visitors will have the opportunity to explore a series of new co-created, community led and collaboratively approached exhibitions that all focus on the museum’s headline theme of migration.

Different voices, experiences, perspectives and learnings are woven together in a series of exhibitions taking place across the national museum of democracy.  Playing a key role in bringing all of this together has been the Community Programme Team, who have been working with the museum since 2019 ensuring that individuals who have all experienced migration themselves are a leading part of how migration stories are told and represented.

Mark Wilson, Exhibitions Officer for People’s History Museum, says, “We are delighted that our reopening will also see a series of exhibitions opening for the first time, giving lots of new elements for people to discover when they visit the national museum of democracy in the coming months.  All are led by the theme of migration and within some there will be a reflection of the events of the last 12 months.”

Central to the programme will be a number of community exhibitions that will open on Wednesday 19 May 2021, all of which have been selected by the Community Programme Team following an open call for submissions.  The intention is for this series of exhibitions to highlight and promote the diverse and multicultural history of Britain whilst providing opportunities for people to connect and discuss the issues and opportunities surrounding migration, with more to follow in the summer.

My Home Is Not My Home (Wednesday 19 May to Sunday 11 July 2021) is a moving exhibition of stories and experiences made by 12 women from The Voice of Domestic Workers, a campaign and support group of migrant domestic workers.  Creating a compelling and reflective encounter, it will share a unique and intimate insight into the world of domestic work carried out in private homes from women whose stories tell of exploitation and abuse.

‘Staying’ put after disaster: life after Hurricane Imra in Barbuda (Wednesday 19 May to Sunday 11 July 2021) looks at the situation that followed Hurricane Imra in 2017.  Following the devastation that was created by the hurricane the government pressurised Barbudans to leave the island in order for private tourist resorts to be built.  The experiences of those affected by these events will be highlighted by the exhibition, which includes 16 intimate portraits of Barbudan residents that are each accompanied by a short quote that illustrates their reasons for ’staying’ put.

Bridging Communities with Rochdale Young Interpreters (Wednesday 19 May to Sunday 11 July 2021) features the artwork of 81 young interpreters from nine different Rochdale primary schools, which combined creates one final piece to visually demonstrate what these children have done to bridge both languages and communities.  The artistic representation will be of the River Roch and symbolises the work that has been done to welcome newly arrived children migrating to the area.

#WELCOME? (Wednesday 19 May to Sunday 9 January 2022) exhibition has been curated by People’s History Museum’s Programme Team to look at the hostile environment faced by many migrants and the media perceptions of migration.  Bringing the latter up to date, it reflects the situation in recent months with migrant workers celebrated as ‘key workers’.  Lots of contemporary materials make up the exhibition including examples of negative newspaper coverage, the viral You Clap for Me Now video and campaign materials calling for an end to the hostile environment.  How some of the issues associated with migration affect individuals is expressed through the sharing of six personal accounts.

Forming a backdrop to many of PHM’s gallery spaces is the 2021 Banner Exhibition (until Sunday 9 January 2022), which has been curated to feature banners that represent past and present migration movements; from individual campaigns to those that were part of international pledges of solidarity and support.  Brought together for the first time they represent a powerful and compelling narrative that helps to give a greater understanding and insight into the issues, experiences, consequences and opportunities of migration.

When People’s History Museum reopens on Wednesday 19 May 2021 it will be with new opening hours; Wednesday to Sunday, from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  The museum and its exhibitions are free to visit with a suggested donation of £5.  Visitor bookings will open on Friday 30 April 2021, with all the details here. To find out about visiting the museum, its full exhibitions and events programme based both at the museum and online visit, and you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter, subscribing to the blog, or following the museum on social media on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.


For further information, or to set up an interview please contact Fido PR: /

A selection of images can be found here:


Notes to editors:

About People’s History Museum (PHM)
People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.  PHM offers a powerful programme with varied themes; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, in 2019 the focus was on protest to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, the 2020-2021 programme is on the theme of migration and 2022 will explore disabled people’s rights and activism.  Previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

We are hugely grateful for the generosity of our funders who have supported People’s History Museum (PHM) during our period of closure and to reopen safely:

Arts Council England, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Here for Culture, Manchester City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

About Arts Council England (ACE)
PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).  The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives.  ACE support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.  In short, it makes life better.  Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from The National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

We use cookies on our website to provide you with a better experience. See our privacy policy for further information. OK