Manchester Art Gallery

Activity: External visiting positions or secondmentsVisiting an external non-academic organisationResearch


Spontaneous memorials are grassroots mourning practices that appear after tragic events, such as terrorist attacks. They often consist of thousands of notes, flags, t-shirts, soft toys and other objects. There has been little focus on the impact that such memorials and their digital counterparts have on museums in which they are subsequently housed and on their publics. This is currently an internationally significant and timely issue because of the growing frequency of spontaneous memorialisation around the world (most recently after the shooting in Uvalde Texas, May 2022). This multi- and cross-disciplinary project addresses this gap. Through a secondment of the PI in the Manchester Art Gallery (which houses the Manchester Together Archive, namely the memorials that sprung up in Manchester after the Arena attack in May 2017) the project co-produced internationally ground-breaking cultural policy and practice around the therapeutic impact of physical, digital and virtual collections of spontaneous memorials.
Period1 Sept 20227 Dec 2023
VisitingManchester Art Gallery


  • spontaneous memorials
  • museum collections