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In Translation

In Translation was a collaborative art project exploring themes of migration, identity and Britishness.

UHC collaborated with women from migrant backgrounds to create a series of personal critical responses to a collection of highly contentious posters produced by the Empire Marketing Board in the 1920s and 30s.

Artists worked with participants to examine and select the posters that resonated most. The women then developed their own creative responses through the exploration of skills relating to photography, drawing, painting, filmmaking, and even baking.

Selected illustrations of migratory birds were transformed into full-fledged screen-prints created by John Powell-Jones.

UHC curated the collective work and placed it alongside the original posters in a 12 month exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. The exhibition mediated, repositioned and articulated the Empire Marketing Board’s work through the eyes of migrant women from the North West of England.

Participants also collaborated with UHC to create the In Translation website.

I met professionals who were understanding and who found more in our work than I would ever imagine possible. I was always interested in art, but now I feel I can also take part in it if I want to. I learned not to be worried and to create. It is a great feeling.
Project Participant

Projects like this one are so important as a way of communication between different communities.
Project Participant

We’re really proud to sponsoring In Translation. The Project involves diverse community groups from across the North West, and illustrates how an historic poster campaign can still connect with people in the 21st century.
Mike Amesbury
Executive Member for Culture and Leisure
Manchester City Council

View more via the Design Studio