On Monday 10 June 2020, a record-breaking multilingual community poem was launched at Manchester Central Library, attended by over 100 special guests and contributors to the poem.
Made in Manchester is a collaborative project led by Read Manchester, Manchester Libraries and Manchester City of Literature.
Cllr Rahman, Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure had a vision to create a multilingual poem to celebrate the city’s rich diversity. Using local poet and MCOL’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Zahid Hussain’s original poem as inspiration, local residents and school children wrote lines in response in both English and a second/heritage language.
Made in Manchester currently comprises 65 languages, including British Sign Language.
Forty of the contributors were filmed to create a video illustrating some of that diversity in language and culture. This film is a window into the full written poem which can be viewed in Manchester Central Library.
The poem will eventually be housed in Manchester Metropolitan’s University Poetry Library when it opens in 2020, and will continue to evolve and represent the city’s many communities.
This project has been funded by Arts Council England, Multilingual Manchester, (part of the University of Manchester), and Manchester City Council.
In addition, an artwork installation was created by local artist Emma Martin, with nine schools and 2,000 children, as an illustration of the many faces of Manchester and the unity of its population, growing and weaving together. The installation is housed next to the children’s library in Manchester Central Library.