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What is the City but the People?

The 2017 Manchester International Festival opened with this unique portrait of the people of Manchester, conceived by artist Jeremy Deller.

As the working day ended, 200 local residents walked a giant catwalk the length of Piccadilly Gardens over the course of an hour in a celebration of the people of the city.

We worked with Richard Gregory of Quarantine, local photographer Gavin Parry and writer Sonia Hughes to develop a show around the participants, making use of portrait photography and condensed text snippets about their lives, displayed on two giant portrait LED screens hanging over the catwalk.

We folded this in with live remote camera feeds and feeds from the BBC broadcast unit on-site, who livecast the show online.

The project won ‘Best Event’ at the inaugural Manchester Culture Awards in 2018. It was revived in Recklinghausen, Germany in 2018 and in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2019 with local cast, writers, photographers and musicians.

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