An ancient manuscript for our time
People who have experienced homelessness have made a medieval-style illuminated manuscript, describing their lives, hopes and dreams, in a 2-year project.
Together we made an illuminated manuscript, at the Booth Centre and Back on Track and other support centres in Manchester. It gathers together significant events, dates, people, celebrations and memorials, all in one book, ‘A book of ours’ giving a wide cross-section of hugely individual lives. Our hope is that by doing this we reassert the identity and the individuality of people who are sometimes dismissed as “homeless” when they are so much more.
Homeless lives don’t appear in any history books, but the A Book of Ours project aims to change that, with participants constructing their own accounts of homeless life throughout the year, with artwork, poems and songs to illustrate it.
In September 2021 we received emergency funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run socially-distanced workshops (including online activities and phone calls) to keep connected with participants in this project. An extra chapter of the illuminated manuscript has been created to document people’s experience during the lockdown on paper and in song.
Pages from A Book of Ours are making their public debut in an exhibition at Bury Art Museum 18 May – July 2021.
With thanks to all the National Lottery players and the Heritage Lottery Fund.