In spring 2012 the Library entered the nationwide Museums at Night
Credit: Francesco Niccolai
contest to ‘win' an artist for an evening. Due to amazing support in the online public vote we won our contest, with an astonishing 74% of the vote in a three-horse race. We were thrilled to welcome acclaimed photographer Simon Roberts, official artist of the 2010 General Election, to the Library on Saturday 19 May, as part of the Museums at Night weekend.
As well as his evening talk, Simon very generously offered his time in the afternoon to record the thoughts and images of local campaigners and activists.
We put out the following call:
Don't close our library....save our NHS... no to war....they say cut back we say fight back... low pay no way... fair pensions for all... say no to racism... equal pay for equal work... no ifs no buts no education cuts...
Campaigning for change in Manchester and Salford? - this is your chance to go down in history! We want to add to our collection by recording what YOU are doing now, as we suffer the biggest public spending cuts in a generation And we'd like to show you a little bit about the history you'll be joining. Come and talk to us about what you care about and bring along an object that sums up what you do or is important to your cause.
Eighteen individuals/groups responded, turning up to be filmed by Simon. They each had three minutes to talk about campaigns and causes dear to their hearts - from the National Assembly of Women to the 1984 miners' strike, from the Clarion Cycle Club to LGBT issues, from the '68 is too late' pension campaign to football & militant embroidery!
The full set of interviews can be seen at http://vimeo.com/album/1998346. The views expressed are of course those of the interviewees.