Manchester Histories Festival 2022

Part of our Exhibitions guide

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
For those who are to come, Manchester Central Library, until Saturday 18th June 2022 © Bruno Kelly

Manchester Histories Festival 2022, 8–12 June 2022, free entry - Visit now

Manchester Histories Festival returns for its 8th edition this June. Exploring The History of Climate Change, this year the wide-ranging, eclectic festival asks us to look back at the past in order to understand the present and prepare for the future. The mostly free, five-day event runs from Thursday 8 – Sunday 12 June and features art exhibitions, talks, tours, discussions and even interactive theatre – all alongside outdoor festivities, creative workshops and family-friendly celebrations.

As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Greater Manchester is a fitting place to discuss the history of climate change. Scheduled talks address everything from how 180 million years of climate and geography helped form the industrial north, to the research done by The University of Manchester’s Sustainable Futures research platform, to the international impact of Manchester’s history as Cottonopolis.

As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Greater Manchester is a fitting place to discuss the history of climate change.

Ergon Theatre, The Wicked Problem, Manchester Central Library, Thursday 9th June 2022
Ergon Theatre, The Wicked Problem


Designed as a festival for all, further discussion sessions use history to track the political dimensions of climate change protest, corporate interests and social movements, but also to look at how organisations and we as individuals can intervene. Meanwhile, Ergon Theatre’s The Wicked Problem asks what comes first, the planet or your family? Set in the year 2061, the interactive drama asks its audience to act as the jury in a futuristic climate change trial which pits an individual against an authoritarian, green government.

The events are mainly split across four main venues – Manchester Central Library, Gallery Oldham, Angel Meadow Park and The Manchester Monastery – with supplemental activity taking place across the city and online. For art-enthusiasts, exhibitions include For those who are to come, a curated series of photographs presenting the diverse faces and colours of Amazonia – which first showed at COP26 – and a retrospective featuring 10 Years of British Wildlife Photography Awards.

Carbon Buster by Walk the Plank
Carbon Buster by Walk the Plank


There are also plenty of opportunities for celebration and family fun across the festival. Angel Meadow Park will host a day of music, games and workshops exploring the environmental impact of food and drink featuring street food vendors and markets on Saturday 11 June. While at Gorton’s The Manchester Monastery, Sunday 12 June is Celebration Day, with stalls from Greater Manchester’s museums, archives and projects joined by creative workshops, music, a vintage bus, an ice-cream van and a pop-up museum from Manchester Museum.

Manchester Histories Festival 2022

8–12 June 2022
Free entry