Since June 2017 the work done by different organisations to care for the objects collected from spontaneous memorials around the city has been documented in film, photography and oral testimonies of those involved.

The media we have created follow the journeys of more than 10,000 tributes from sites around Manchester and beyond.


Filmmaking was used as a research method to document and reflect on the challenges, considerations, and decision-making of the people and organisations involved in the forming a collection of the spontaneous memorial objects.

“We’ve worked side by side with the Institute for Cultural Practices, documenting the process of creating this archive, recording the decision making process and how our own feelings and understanding of these objects has evolved over time. We wanted to make sure that this process was very open and that we are able to learn from this and to share that process with other people that are facing similar issues in the future.”

– Amanda Wallace, Senior Operational Lead, Manchester Art Gallery

Filmmaking was also used to examine moments in the “biography” of these objects and how different people engaged with them practically, emotionally and sensorially.

“Emotion is at the heart of the Manchester Together Archive. Film-making has been an important tool for capturing, preserving and sharing the emotional responses to this collection of objects over the past year.”

– Ben Knowles, Belle Vue Productions

2000 Teddies

Among the tributes were more than 2,000 soft toys, which were dried out by Timpson and washed by members of the Women’s Institute from branches across Greater Manchester. The soft toys were distributed to children in Greater Manchester and across the world. This film follows the journey of those 2,000 soft toys.

22 Candles

Thousands of candles were lit to remember the victims of the Manchester Arena attack. One year later, artist Maja Piechocka was invited by Manchester Art Gallery to turn some of these tributes into 22 larger candles – one for each person who died in the attack. These candles were lit in the anniversary memorial ceremony in Manchester Cathedral in May 2018.

10,000 Objects

Amanda Wallace, as acting director of Manchester Art Gallery during the summer of 2017, has been at the forefront of the city’s decision-making around the spontaneous memorials. This retrospective interview with Amanda gives an overview of the complex processes and conversations that led to the foundation of the Manchester Together Archive.


Since July 2017 the journeys of over 10,000 objects from memorial sites around the city to the Manchester Together Archive have been documented.

Removing the tributes

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Washing and repairing the soft toys

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Objects from the Archive

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Caring for the objects

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Creating the Manchester Together Archive

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Pilot Documentation of objects

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Creating 22 memorial candles

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