Opening the Archive Thinking about collections

Legacy of Ahmed project: Anti-racism posters

Over the past 18 months we, through our Education Trust, have been working on our HLF funded Legacy of Ahmed project. The project is now drawing to a close and I’ll be sharing some of the outputs on here over the next few weeks. First up, these wonderful anti-racism posters created by young people from our project partner Ananna: Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation.

A finished piece
A finished piece

Project Officer Jennie ran the workshop (supported by Archives+) earlier this month for 15 young people. After visiting a temporary, touring display (currently on show at Longsight Library) they learnt about the anti-racism rally of 1986, inspired by Ahmed’s murder. They then looked at historic and contemporary campaign posters from our collection, and had a go at designing and screen printing their own with the help of artists Jo Ford and Natalie Linney.

Throughout the workshop the girls took part in some very honest and insightful discussion about racism and equality, sharing their own experiences and values, and considering how these might have changed for young people over the past 30 years ago. One participant commented:

I learnt about Ahmed and the courageous initiatives of his family. It made me think how we ‘evolved’ today and that we should always make others aware of racism.

Their posters are very simple, powerful and refreshingly positive. Many of the historical posters in our collection convey a sense of anger and action, which was very much the climate of the 1970s and 80s, but it’s interesting to see that young people today respond to these ideas in a more optimistic and colourful way.

By aiucentre

An open access library specialising in the study of race, ethnicity and migration. Part of the University of Manchester and based at Manchester Central Library.

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