More than sixty people gathered at the Ziferblat event space in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to celebrate the publication of the report, How can we govern cities differently? The promise and practices of co-production.
The System Doesn’t Work
In many communities in Greater Manchester, traditional ways of getting involved in politics including voting engage only the minority. The 2017 election of Greater Manchester’s first Mayor, for example, attracted a turnout of only 27%. Low and declining levels of formal political participation have caused much concern. This Jam and Justice project engaged with this debate from the starting point that focusing on apathy limits our understanding of why people may not engage in politics; and, that looking only at formal political participation may miss out important forms of everyday politics in Greater Manchester.
Read what our community researchers discovered about "Everyday Politics":
Wider research identifies ‘everyday makers’ as an important new form of everyday politics. By ‘everyday maker’, we mean people who get involved in local and concrete projects with a DIY-ethos, which make a real difference to people’s lives and the benefit the local community. Everyday makers are well-known, well-networked and trusted in their communities, working either as part of a community-led action group or by themselves, but they are not connected with formal politics.
Starting from an understanding that politics is not limited to formal processes, The System Doesn’t Work project put everyday makers at the heart of politics in our city-region. In order to better understand, value and make visible everyday politics in Greater Manchester, over six months, this project sought to:
- Identify and work with a diverse group of everyday makers from Greater Manchester
- Conduct an action research project using an innovative visual method, photovoice, including individual interviews and a collective analysis workshop
- Curate a community exhibition to share our findings
- Offer opportunities for community conversations