Can cutting-edge tech bring us closer to the events of the past? Coinciding with its 10th birthday year, People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester prepares to unveil a series of digital experiences that shine a light on key moments in the history of democracy.
Among these, a new gaming interactive based on the Match Girls’ Strike of 1888 will go on display in PHM’s main gallery space on 13th February (coinciding with the museum’s 10th birthday weekend). The strike was an important event for workers’ rights in British history, which saw hundreds of teenage girls and young women take a stand against hazardous and unfair working conditions in the Bryant & May match factory in Bow, London.
In line with the museum’s 2020 focus on migration, a series of innovative works developed in response to issues and opportunities surrounding the subject will also be located throughout its galleries from February onwards. Among the highlights, a new augmented reality (AR) experience will offer visitors the chance to get up and close to objects from the collection and hear the voices of those who were involved in the strikes at the Grunwick film processing factory in London that lasted almost two years and achieved national acclaim from workers around the country in the 1970s and 1980s.
Another important strand of PHM’s year-long season exploring migration will take the form of ’More in Common’ – a programme examining what the ethos of this phrase means to multiculturalism in Britain today against the backdrop of Brexit. The legacy surrounding the murder of MP Jo Cox in 2016 will lie at the heart of this and the Jo Cox Memorial Wall, now part of the museum’s collection, will go on public display for the first time since it was created in 2016, alongside a new digital memorial wall made from people’s responses to the tragic event, crowdsourced from the around the world.
Keep your eyes peeled for further digital interventions in store.