An exhibition produced by Urban Institute researcher, Vicky Habermehl, Visiting Associate Liz Mason Deese and community researchers in Greater Manchester has been opened at the Manchester Central Library. Part of the Whose Knowledge Matters project, led by Professor Beth Perry, the exhibition explores the themes of protest, democracy and freedom in the 21st century city. It asks:  whose knowledge matters when we represent the city? Who decides what land to protect or destroy, whose heritage to celebrate, whose stories to tell and who gets ‘seen’ in the visual and spatial record of the city? This exhibition presents counter-maps to explore residents’ knowledge from across Greater Manchester.

Maps are only one way of seeing the city and usually only focus on official representations of physical locations. Counter-maps trouble and disrupt formal representations to value residents’ everyday experiences of what it actually means to live in the city. The central focus of the exhibition is a counter-map, produced as part of a collaborative research process with residents in Miles Platting, Manchester. The neighbourhood and residents of Miles Platting have experienced significant change due to austerity and privatisation processes. A second participatory counter-map will be made throughout the exhibition. Visitors to the exhibition can contribute their knowledge to the map, sharing: histories, protests and issues that matter to them in the city. Through thee maps researchers  aim to provoke reflection on whose knowledge matters in the context of a vast and rapidly changing urban landscape.

Follow the counter-mapping process by following our twitter account @UK_RJC #KnowledgeMattersGM.

Whose Knowledge Matters Exhibition, 1st Floor, Manchester Central Library, June to August 2019.