From taking to the streets for a performance that lights up the city, to residents showing off their culture, passions and expertise as collaborators and curators, to joining a choir throughout the city, or walking the walk on a 100m yellow runway – the people of Manchester have been central to the unique spirit of MIF over the years.
For each edition of MIF hundreds of people across Greater Manchester take part in several of our major events. Now based at our permanent home Aviva Studios, there are even more ways to get involved.
You don’t have to be an artist or creative to join in – you just have to be open to trying something new. Whether that's dancing in the street, telling your story, sharing a meal, raising your voice or speaking your words.
And if behind the scenes work is more your thing, you can also join in by curating with us, or joining one of our Forums, where local residents can inform our approach to access, transportation and a whole lot more.
We celebrated Greater Manchester’s newest residents in an extraordinary new public art event by artist Luke Jerram. From 1 to 29 Jan 2023, First Breath lit up the night sky with a bright column of pulsing light visible from all over the city, representing the first gasps of breath of babies born that day across the region. We're now connecting with Greater Manchester families throughout the first few years of their child’s life, creating a moment of celebration in their shared milestones and introducing art and culture to everyday life from their first breath.First Breath Families
LOOKING FORWARD TO TOMORROW
For MIF21, Manchester residents took over the curation of the Festival’s talks and discussions series, building on MIF’s pioneering work with the community as artistic collaborators, such as Festival in My House where Greater Manchester residents programmed their own international micro-festivals. Featuring a range of speakers, including artists, activists, key workers, campaigners and members of the Greater Manchester community, Looking Forward to Tomorrow explored some of the big issues of the day including the climate emergency and anti-Black racism.
SCHOOL OF INTEGRATION
Artist Tania Bruguera and over 100 people who have made Manchester their home from another country took over Manchester Art Gallery to deliver unique classes as the School of Integration.
During MIF19, the school offered over 80 classes on a wide-ranging curriculum that includes food, customs, ethics, politics and many other forms of knowledge – classes given by local people originally from countries around the world, from Zimbabwe to Tibet.
These were not only instructional lessons, but something more personal and vivid. Each teacher passed on their own experiences, sharing skills, knowledge and culture in a different kind of communal integration and learning experience in the heart of Manchester.