About Finding Manchester
Finding Manchester is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s a challenge being undertaken by Chris Smith and Liz Peel to visit and document 52 Manchesters in 52 weeks across 5 continents. It’s research, social documentary, heritage, culture and adventure all rolled into one.
Manchester is many things to many people and every one of them is unique. Finding Manchester is creating a snapshot in time to celebrate each in their own right. As we visit the fifty-two, we’ll be interviewing the people connected with the name of Manchester, creating a visual record and collecting contemporary historical items from each one to develop an archival collection of Manchesters from across the world. We’ll also be distributing to each Manchester a box of items individual to Manchester, England as a symbiotic exchange.
Finding Manchester will also be developing a positively incomparable exhibition of the Manchesters from around the world in partnership with the Manchester Museum, England.
Why is Finding Manchester such a challenge?
When you consider that Manchester Lake is over 120 miles from the nearest road, Manchester Bolivia is only accessible by boat on a remote Amazonian tributary and Manchester Nevada lies within the vast Nevada Test & Training Range beside Area 51, they’re not easy to reach. Of course, many Manchesters are just a pootle down the road but some aren’t. The assumption that reaching and documenting 52 Manchesters in 52 weeks is an easy task would be wrong.
There are certainly far more than 52 Manchesters on the face of our blue planet and each deserves a visit. However, within the scope of Finding Manchester the challenge is not to visit every Manchester but instead to document a representative majority over the course of one year, building up a picture of the diversity of Manchester in all its forms.
About Chris and Liz
Chris Smith and Liz Peel have travelled all over the world for both work and pleasure. Their work includes humanitarian projects in numerous countries, unsupported expeditions to the Amazon, the Atacama Desert, the Negev Desert, the Darien Gap, three years in the Americas, and an attempted crossing of the Andes in a three-wheel motor taxi, which resulted in them giving a lift to a lot of people.
They have staged several high profile exhibitions of their work, contributed to a wide range of books, articles and radio programmes around the world and are regular public speakers, giving inspirational talks to schools, public events and businesses.
Chris works with charities and NGOs in the UK and overseas, using photography and multimedia assisting communities to explore their heritage and cultural diversity, helping them to raise awareness of issues and influence decision makers using the creative voice of photography and audio accounts of their lives.
A member of the Oral History Society, Liz is a freelance project manager working with communities to bring about positive social change, both in the UK and overseas. She works at all levels, from grassroots to national initiatives, with a focus on community planning and rural development.
Liz and Chris are supported as Jupiter’s Travellers by The Ted Simon Foundation, and together they also work with schools and communities on a diverse range of projects, raising awareness, celebrating achievement and inspiring others.