On Friday 20 September 2019 People’s History Museum, the national museum of democracy, is joining the Global Climate Strike by carrying out an #ArtStrike.
Exhibits in the Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest exhibition will go on strike for the day in support of those demanding action to prevent further global warming and climate change, sharing the message ‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’. The #ArtStrike initiative is led by the UK Student Climate Network.
Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest tells of those protesting for rights and representation 200 years ago. The exhibition has been chosen as the focus for the #ArtStrike so that People’s History Museum can stand in solidarity with a campaign that is seeking to secure significant change for a common cause in today’s world.
Alongside the historical artefacts featured in Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest sits the very contemporary Protest Lab; conceived as a space for individuals and community groups to create and share details of current campaigns.
People’s History Museum supports the ongoing fight for equality through our work with the community and activists campaigning for disabled people’s rights.
Peterloo represents the shared history of all, so in the year of the 200th anniversary of this milestone it is important that every aspect of the way it is marked is inclusive and accessible to all.
We hope that through peaceful protest and discussion, the voices of the disabled community are heard and that the Peterloo Memorial is representative for all.
People’s History Museum (PHM) recognises the climate crisis as defining issues of the present day. PHM’s commitment to environmental care, responsibility and action continues through all streams of our work. PHM is a member of the Happy Museum Project, committed to being active stewards of people, place and planet. We have joined the Culture Declares Emergency campaign and are passionately committed at all levels of the organisation to embedding sustainable practices into the museum’s day to day operations. The museum places audience engagement at the heart of its sustainability approach; we believe the greatest impact we can have in addressing the climate emergency is to engage audiences to inspire action, whilst also working towards our own target of becoming a zero carbon museum by 2038.
After two years of negotiations between Britain and the EU, Brexit is scheduled to take place on 29 March 2019 and as yet, there is no agreement in place. The Museums Association has warned of the “highly damaging impact on: the communities that museums serve; the people who work in and with museums, and the sharing of collections, ideas and expertise across European borders”, particularly in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. In planning our programmes for the years ahead and in our work as the ‘go to’ place for democratic engagement, People’s History Museum (PHM) must echo these warnings.
People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, and we have deep concerns about the impact of leaving the EU on our work as a cultural organisation, on the nation’s vibrant democratic engagement, and at this time of division, on the negative effects there could be on cohesion amongst communities.
These are defining times for our nation, which in years to come will be reflected through PHM’s archives, collections and programming as we record and inspire our nation’s democratic journey through history.
In the coming weeks we urge the nations elected officials to reach a resolution that brings the best possible outcome for all.