Manchester After Hours

Contributed by Alice Litchfield on 18.05.2016

An Article about Manchester After Hours. Written by Alice Litchfield 

Manchester After Hours was held in the city on Thursday 12th May, it is a one-night, city-wide social with events being held in all different neighbourhoods allowing the public into spaces not normally open after hours. The whole scheme was coordinated by Creative Tourist and funded by Arts Council England, so many of the events focused around creative work such as poetry and music. Manchester Museum was home to two events for the evening including Climate Control and a live interactive drawing event hosted by SEE-SAW. On Tuesday night, Manchester Museum opened the exhibition for Climate Control and with Vivienne Westwood in attendance the event attracted over 900 guests. The Museum hopes to continue this success and get as many people as possible to attend their exhibition.

On Thursday night, I got to the museum characteristically early, however this meant I got to wander around the exhibition before it got busy. One of the main features of the room is a wall in the middle, one side painted black and focusing on what can be done about Climate Change, and the other painted white and talking about Carbon Footprints. On the black side of the wall it reads “together, we all make a difference”, people are invited to place a white sticker on the wall with their ideas about what an individual can do to help reduce climate change. Several stickers included the ideas about going vegetarian, using your car less and having community vegetable gardens. The results from the stickers will eventually be sent off to the Tyndall centre and so the data is all useful. On the white side of the wall you can stick a black circle on, these individual dots all add up and show how collectively our carbon footprints add together. The wall explains how your carbon footprint is how much carbon dioxide you add to the atmosphere including food, rubbish, energy and travel. With over 300 people already contributing to the walls it shows the event is attracting guests and getting the message across. The hard work and time that has been put into the event has made it a success.

Around the outside of the room there were informative messages and displays all showing the effects of climate change. Statistics over the walls included “Carbon dioxide levels are at their highest in 800,000 years” and “an area of arctic sea ice 10 times the size of the UK has been lost since the 1980s”. There were also many different animals on display including a polar bear, arctic fox and mountain hare and these combined with the statistics it paints a picture that we will lose much of our wildlife and the safety of our planet if we do not change our ways.

The exhibition is structured in an effective and simplistic way with different messages over the wall written in a format that is easy to understand and accessible for everyone. They are encouraging people to take action and using the story of the peppered moth as a symbol that things can change, there is a positive message. The whole exhibition aims to reach all different people in Manchester particularly through the busy summer months and send the message that collectively we can make an impact on climate change. The idea is to get people engaged and interested in climate change in interactive and fun sessions to talk about it using different resources and the unique space of the museum.

For more information about the upcoming events at the Climate Control Exhibition, click HERE