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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

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Sarah Butler

as long as it can, but they don’t give up until they’re in – lifting the broken glass like a curtain to slip inside. I sit writing this and realise it is the anniversary of the riots. Seven years on and it is as though they never happened. Deleted from our collective memory and narrative. They don’t fit. They are uncomfortable to think about. We have Brexit to worry about now – never mind that the riots showed the country’s deep divisions and anger long before the referendum was on the table, and I would argue that ignoring the individual stories that underpinned

in Manchester
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Qaisra Shahraz

communities after the Brexit referendum, resulting in the tragic death of a Polish man in Harlow, Essex in August 2016? Then I remember that I, too, am an immigrant. Or rather, I was one many years ago, travelling from Lahore in Pakistan to Manchester at the age of nine. Having lived in Manchester for over 80 per cent of my life, it’s difficult to believe and accept at times that I could still be called an immigrant, or that I am indeed a migrant by background. Pakistani I might be by origin, but Britain is my home, and Manchester is my beloved home city, the place where I

in Manchester
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Steve Hanson

Manchester: Something rich and strange Facade – Steve Hanson Manchester is a city of facade. All Saints, where the Fifth PanAfrican Congress was held in 1945, is at present nothing but a facade. At the time of writing, the Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints campus is being reconfigured. On the walls the words ‘leave’ or ‘go’ have been spray-canned by builders to designate which walls are to be left standing and which are to be demolished. At the same time, the incompetent government Brexit negotiations continue. To ‘leave’ and to ‘go’ here mean

in Manchester
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Paul Dobraszczyk

sexual 302 Destruction and political intrigues and lavish costume design, demonstrate that the appeal of the Tudors is most definitely not limited to children. In the popular imagination, Tudor buildings and their inhabitants signal a golden age in British history – a time when the elusive but much-coveted notion of Britishness revealed itself most strongly. Of course, this is mostly a myth, and a dangerously seductive one at that in these post-Brexit times; but perhaps we can at least celebrate Tudor architecture for its exemplary adaptability – its seeming ability

in Manchester
Liam Harney and Jane Wills

some conservative thinkers the dominance of ‘anywhere’ or progressive worldviews in universities, politics and the media has created a climate in which large numbers of ordinary citizens feel un-represented or ignored by mainstream politics and culture ( Lasch, 1994 ; Slater, 2016 ; Williams, 2016 ). This feeling of having been ignored over the past few decades partly explains the vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in America. These votes shocked the political and cultural establishment as they asserted ‘somewhere’ or

in The power of pragmatism
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Images and narratives on the border
Jopi Nyman and Johan Schimanski

, 2019 ; Ganivet, 2019 ; for a glossary, see Schimanski and Wolfe, 2017b ), often closely connected with thinking around the borderscape concept, in/visibility and Rancière's beforementioned partage du sensible . As the EU politician Guy Verhofstadt said in 2017 concerning Brexit and the question of the Irish border, with reference to the art of René Magritte, ‘[a] border is visible otherwise it isn't a border’ (Rankin and Asthana, 2017 ); borders have material components (Demetriou and Dimova, 2018 ; Green, 2018 ), and Svend Erik Larsen ( 2007 : 97) has argued

in Border images, border narratives
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Manchester: seeing like a city
Paul Dobraszczyk and Sarah Butler

exclude – one that has been played out dramatically on a national scale in the Brexit debacle, but also at the local scale with the rapid development of many urban cores into citadels of 9 Manchester: Something rich and strange 10 Introduction wealth. Thinking of conurbations in the round inevitably draws us away from narrow parochialism and the interests of one particular group. This approach need not run roughshod over local differences or seek to centralise power; rather it can maintain the local and the global together in creative tension – a tension that, after

in Manchester