Islington Mill as part of MIF 2017

What Is the City but the People?

Created by the People of Manchester from an idea by Jeremy Deller. In association with Islington Mill.

For the opening event of MIF17, Manchester’s meeting place will be the setting for a self-portrait of the city. A specially designed walkway in Piccadilly Gardens will welcome a selection of local residents, who will parade on the runway to musical accompaniment for audiences both in the streets and online. Ranging from high-fashion statements to far more personal moments, What Is the City but the People? will capture Manchester through its outfits, attitudes and individuality.

“The opportunity to work with MIF and Jeremy Deller on the opening event for the 2017 Festival that will bring together the people of Manchester is an incredible honour for us at Islington Mill. I’ve had the enormous privilege to work with a cross-section of creative people at the Mill and witness them realise their potential. The most exciting moments are when people realise that stripping back some of who they think they ought to be and being more of themselves is when real creative breakthroughs can happen. Building the spaces for people to be themselves has been a core part of what we have done for twenty years at Islington Mill, and working with MIF and with Jeremy gives us the opportunity to do this on a greater scale than ever before.”

Bill Campbell, Founder and Director, Islington Mill

Islington Mill has always had a strong belief that ordinary people can be artists and that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. We believe creativity is in everything and comes from everywhere, which is why Islington Mill has an open door – to people from down the road, and to people from all over the world – to pursue any creative gesture they would like to achieve. In these divisive times, we believe even more in creating safe places for people to connect and to experiment through creativity and self-expression.

Based on these guiding principles, we are hugely excited to be collaborating with Manchester International Festival and Jeremy Deller on the brand new commission, What is the City but the People?