A gentler day awaits for Manchester Weekenders on Sunday 13 October: things to do today include exhibitions (naturally), with added ‘zines, Sunday roasts, cycle tours, war art and a Media City, protest songs and Polari.
It wouldn’t be quite right to spend Sunday without brunch or a roast. If you’re in town, our hot tips are Mr. Thomas’ Chophouse (traditional, Victorian surrounds), Home Sweet Home (American, Northern Quarter hipster), Neighbourhood (American, Spinningfields glitz) and Cornerhouse (Continental-with-coffee, art world hang out). Full? OK, let’s walk over to the National Football Museum for State of the ‘Zine (11am-3pm, free), a one-off, lo-fi football ‘zine fair led by SPIEL and OWT Creative. Specially-commissioned Illustrations, witty and occasionally provocative text, objects from NFM’s incredible archive and the chance to use typewriter, photocopiers and cut-outs to create your very own ‘zine are all wrapped up inside this temple to the beautiful game.
That hearty breakfast will come in handy for our next recommendation: the Wanna Be In My Gang Cycle Tour (12pm-2pm, £5). Created especially for the Weekender, this bike tour takes in music and football fandom, The Smiths and the Polari Mission Bibleathon at the John Rylands Library (1pm-3pm, free), before dropping you off at The Lowry in time for Play/Record (1pm-4pm, free). This Sunday session comprises live DJs, music, stories and talks that celebrate Manchester District Music Archive’s exhibition at The Lowry, Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Manchester (11am-5pm, free). This is a show that in turn tells the story of Manchester in music history, while the Sunday session is a chance for you, the music lover, to bring in your own music and club ephemera and scan it in to the MDMA archive.
The Quays has witnessed a foodie influx of late. Try the family-run Booths for on the hoof and seasonal/locally produced snacks, or Damson’s Media City branch if you’re after something sit-down. A footbridge over Manchester Ship Canal connects this part of The Quays – the Media City hub, home to the BBC (whose presence is announced via vast pictures of Matt Smith and various CBeebies characters cut vinyled onto glass walls) – to IWM North. It is here that a new contemporary art show opened on Friday night; Catalyst: Contemporary Art & War (10am-5pm, free) features over 70 artworks from the likes of Steve McQueen, Willie Doherty, Paul Seawright and Miroslaw Balka. Drawn from the museum’s own, impressive collection, the focus for this show is recent war art: everything on display has been created since the First Gulf War. It promises to move the artistic debate on from mere artist-as-recorder towards commentary and our own reactions to conflicts that are happening now.
On Sunday, IWM North hosts two special events linked to this exhibition: 33RPM Voices of the Revolution (2.30pm-3.15pm, free) and Wars During My Lifetime (3.15pm, free). 33RPM is a talk and live performance from hip-hop artist, political activist and former South Sudanese child soldier, Emmanuel Jal, while Wars During My Lifetime is a performance created by artist Martin Callanan that reflects conflict in an entirely different way. Here, a town crier leads you around Daniel Libeskind’s award-winning building, reading aloud a list of wars that have, as the title suggests on the tin, occurred during Callanan’s lifetime. Now, there are other ways to end your Weekender: Jeanette Winterson talks to Audrey Niffenegger, author of the best-selling, The Time Traveller’s Wife (7.30pm, £12/£10), the Royal Exchange stages Arthur Miller’s classic play, All My Sons (8pm, from £10), and the Deaf Institute lays on mega Sunday roasts and an anything-goes Open Mic Night (8pm-11pm, free). But you know what? We’re ending our Weekender of art, music, food, dancing, good times, records in a day, pencils versus pixels, knitters and sewers, ‘zines and everything in between with one image, burnt onto the retina of our mind’s eye. It’s that of an old-school town crier solemnly declaring Callahan’s words. He stands with Daniel Libeskind’s shimmering, shattered museum behind him and, through a window, connecting Salford and Manchester like a liquid thread, the Manchester Ship Canal beyond. It flows on, impassive, massive, just as it has always done – and so too, now, do we. Happy Weekender, folks. It’s been a ball.