People’s History Museum (PHM) is wearing its heart on its sleeve to stand Together With Refugees. Along with a coalition of international development charities, grassroot and community organisations, refugee-led groups and cultural institutions it is urging the government to rethink its approach to the Nationality and Borders Bill. Visitors to the national museum of democracy have been sharing their reactions to the Bill on postcards, which will be delivered to the Home Secretary on Valentine’s Day to ask the government to rethink its approach.
The changes proposed by the government on how asylum seekers could be treated under the Nationality and Borders Bill threaten to undermine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This milestone in the history of human rights has stood since 1948 and recognises equality of all and represents the guiding principles to every individual’s rights as a human being. Furthermore, if the Bill passes into law, it will profoundly undermine the UK’s commitment to the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Hundreds of visitors to People’s History Museum have shared their concerns and anger about the Bill. Their words are powerful: “Refugees deserve our support and our compassion”; “asylum seekers deserve nothing less than fairness, equity and care”; “Everyone deserves the right to safety”; “We’re all human”; “The Nationality and Borders Bill is a disgrace to this country and damages our standing the world”; “All people have a human right to live in peace”; “Nobody should suffer for seeking asylum”.
To understand why the Nationality and Borders Bill is so profoundly at odds with the beliefs of so many people you have to step into the shoes of those that it will affect, which you can do when you visit People’s History Museum. Here the culmination of three years work highlights to visitors many personal stories of migration, all of which has been brought together and creatively explored in partnership with a Community Programme Team, made up of those who have experienced migration themselves. Migration: a human story features trails, gallery interventions, films and much more.
People’s History Museum and its exhibitions are free to visit with a suggested donation of £5. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm and during Greater Manchester school holidays (w/c 14 February and w/c 21 February) is open Monday to Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm. To find out about visiting PHM, its full exhibitions and events programme based both at the museum and online visit phm.org.uk, 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.
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A selection of images are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/x2aarr84sf4g78c/AAAiEm4BVfV_nJ1rb4huAZxya?dl=0
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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.
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. artscouncil.org.uk.