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RECLAIM, a youth leadership and social change organisation based in Manchester, know that Black people have done some incredible things in Manchester, but to find them one has to search deep in a library and archives. Young black people in Manchester do not have a mainstream sense of their own past through the arts. There is a tendency for other people to tell their stories, removing the authenticity of the experience. Important events in black and brown history can be forgotten, at best, or, at worst, erased. 

Through this project the young people at RECLAIM would like to address this injustice. RECLAIM will unveil the hidden cultures in Manchester merging art, politics and creativity and look at how linking these mediums can say so much about the world we live in today. They will revisit, reimagine and revive stories of black and brown activism from the past - stories from the north that have shaped the lives of many in Manchester communities today.

RECLAIM will begin with master classes in art, identity and politics, empowering young people to engage with the space where these fields meet, and understand how they influence and change each other. These workshops will run over a three-week period engaging with the subject matter followed by facilitated sessions to create group and individual artwork inspired by the research. 

As this is a youth-led project, the artwork created can take any form - photography, spoken word, painting, illustration, graffiti art, music, or theatre - whatever medium the young people would like to create and exhibit. The whole experience will be documented, including video diaries of the young people and their experiences engaging with the subject matter.

The project will culminate in two artistic creations - a physical ‘exhibit’ or ‘showing’ of the young people’s chosen creations via their chosen medium, and the documented experience of that process.


RECLAIM is a youth leadership and social change organisation. It is a small but bold charity that supports and amplifies the voices of working class young people.  

RECLAIM was set up in Moss Side in 2007 to identify and support young leaders from an intensely pressurised community. Their work allows young people to develop their skills and potential and to build their pathway to make the world a better place for all.  RECLAIM run intensive, high impact leadership programmes for 12-15 year olds from working class communities and support them through an Alumni Network until they are 22. They also develop and deliver - alongside young people - a range of pilot projects and campaigns on issues that affect working class communities.  

RECLAIM is driven by the understanding that young people on the periphery, with lived experience of UK social inequality, hold the key to social change.  RECLAIM recognises that working class young people have talent but often need further support to equip them with the resilience, skills, confidence, networks and pride necessary to break the 'class ceiling'; and that true social change will only be achieved if those currently in power are willing to listen and learn.

They have the vision, the skills and the track record to significantly level the playing field for working class young people and transform the lives and futures of a generation.