SMC_MCR October: What Lies Beneath – Unseen Journeys Through the City

Map drawn by Fredrich Engels 1844

SMC_MCR Tuesday 2nd October, 6.30pm – 9pm – The Northern, Tib Street, Manchester (Directions)

Please register to attend here.

This month’s SMC takes a different twist and looks at the hidden Manchester

During 2008 a tipping point was reached where over half the world’s populations lived in towns or cities. To some, cities seem to be the pinnacle of human evolution to others uncontrollable sprawls relentlessly encroaching on the countryside.

Manchester has a unique place in the pantheon of cities. It was the first industrial city, which allowed some to accrue tremendous wealth whilst workers lived in desperate poverty. It was from this crucible of inequality that globally important new ways of thinking about wealth and society were formed. Manchesterism or Manchester Liberalism was a school of economics, born out of the injustice of the corn laws that promoted free trade over the protectionist mercantilism of the time. It also created the background through Marx’s friendship with Engels – whose father owned a mill in Ancoats – for Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto.

That Manchester became the world’s first industrial city is probably not an accident. It had the right climate for processing cotton, was proximate to the sea and had its own supply of coal. Because it was the first industrial city it is also the oldest and the traces of that city still echo in the weaver’s cottages, mills and canals that still exist.

The Manchester of today is a complex organism of infrastructure, people and systems. It has subterranean passages, department stores with ballrooms and places where things of consequence once occurred. Much of this is hidden and this month’s SMC_MCR hopes to offer a glimpse into this hidden Manchester through four 15 minute presentations.


Dr. Steven Millington

The Mancunian Way Walking Tour was devised by Manchester Metropolitan University and The Manchester Modernist Society, as part of the URBIS Research Forum in 2009.  The Tour has been repeated many times as a device to engage the general public in critical ideas about urban geography, architecture and planning, affording participants to explore the sensual and material qualities of place of the unique landscape created by The Mancunian Way motorway.

This presentation explains the rationale behind this walking tour, loosely inspired by Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital, to highlight the qualities of walking as a means of urban exploration.  Finally, the presentation explores alternate ways of discovering Manchester which utilise multiple sources of geographical data to create new traces and routes across the city.

Morag Rose – Remapping the city through Anarchoflaneurie

The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement) is an open interdisciplinary collective interested in exploring and sharing our love for Manchester. We embark on psychogeographical drifts to decode the palimpsest of the streets, uncover hidden histories, challenge power structures and discover the extraordinary in the banal. We aim to nurture an awareness of everyday space, (re)engaging with and (re)enchanting the city. This talk will share field notes from our experiments in anarchaflanuerie and introduce a range of tactics that we use to transform the streets into a playground as we search for new ways to look at, feel and remap Manchester.

Yuwei Lin – Mapping your world

Yuwei Lin of Salford University talks about the importance of having freedom to access, view, change and (re) distribute geographical information and how people can get involved through the free/open source platforms like Open Street Map. For more information about Yuwei’s work visit or

Julian Tait – The Systemic City

Please register to attend here. See you there!

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