Sarah (L) and Stef (R) open the Everyday Austerity Exhibition, July 2016

At 10am on Monday 11th July 2016 the Everyday Austerity Exhibition opened its doors. Based in the Samuel Alexander Building at the heart of the University of Manchester campus, the exhibition was also placed on the doorstep of all the graduation ceremonies taking place that same week.

We have lift off

On the evening of Monday 11th, an opening event was held to launch the exhibition. Visitors were able to take a detailed look at the drawings by Stef Bradley, photographs taken by participants and hand-written ethnographic field diaries. They could also listen to sound-bites from interviews, and touch the materials inside the boxes.

Listening to sound-bites
Reading diaries and Stef’s drawings







After a look around and a chance to grab a drink, guests at the opening event were welcomed with a short introduction from Sarah about the purpose of the exhibition and the research project behind it. The Everyday Austerity Exhibition was then officially opened with a talk and a toast by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan.

Welcome talk from Sarah
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The Lord Mayor of Manchester






And now for something a bit different

We were lucky enough to also be joined by Manchester-based spoken word poet Gav Stokel. Gav treated us to some of his rhymes, including a new piece simply entitled ‘Austerity’, written especially for the occasion.

The crowd listens to Gav’s poetry
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Gav Stokel in action






Provoking a response

Gav’s poetry complemented the Everyday Austerity Exhibition and Project very well, encouraging multi-sensory ways of thinking about austerity, and of austerity as provoking an emotional response.

Guests at the opening event took to Twitter to express these sentiments:

Thank you

Thanks again to all those who came to the exhibition, both on the opening night and throughout the whole week.

Check out the tour dates tab for more information on the return of the Everyday Austerity Exhibition. You can have more than one opening event, surely?!