Archive footage, unseen photos and community interviews were pulled together to create the stunning new film, which tells the real, unheard story of Hulme from those who have lived through two huge regenerations.
Funded by a Heritage Lottery grant, One Manchester joined forces with local community arts worker and project founder Tracie Daly, and community media company, REELmcr to produce the film.
Speaking about the project, Tracie described her pride in helping to make the vision a reality:
“This project has been a chance for Hulme people to revisit a time when they had little control over the future of the community they loved and their decaying homes, their way of life, their very foundations ripped up due to a systematic social housing disaster. Finally, we get our say!”
Internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Paul Sapin, worked alongside REELmcr to make The Spirit of Hulme, which recalls huge struggles to keep the community together in decent housing, told by residents of all ages. It covers the period from the clearances in the 1950s, when people were forced out of their homes, and moved into a new social housing experiment. It also addresses the tenants’ fights in the 1980s for their right to remain, as the second regeneration dawned and the crescents were demolished.
Ex-Hulme resident Brenda Hickey, who now lives in Openshaw, featured in the project and explained what it meant to her to be involved:
“It wasn’t my parents who brought me up in Hulme, it was the community that brought me up. To have the community ripped away like it was, I never got over it. The project has gone from strength to strength, and even though I don’t live here [in Hulme] anymore, I feel as though I’m back in the community. When I watched that film last night it just released me from a place in my mind that I’d been trapped in; the project has helped me to move on.
As well as the documentary, celebrated Mancunian poet, Tony Walsh (a.k.a Longfella) worked in collaboration with Hulme residents to create Hulme To Me, a poem in which locals recite their own verses of what the area means to them, set to a backdrop of rare photos, which you can watch below.
To learn more about either of these projects, or to find out about similar cultural projects that you can get involved in, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 230 1262.