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Wednesday, 6th March 2024

Law Centre brings art exhibition to Manchester Museum

Over the past couple of months, Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) has been showcasing art and stories from its 10 Years (In)Justice exhibition at the Manchester Museum.


The 1 April 2023 marked a decade since the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (2012) came into force. The most devastating cuts to the legal aid system since its inception, the legislation opened a wound that has never healed.

The damaged caused by legal aid cuts is not as directly visible as cuts to other public services. A weak legal aid system represents a lack of enforcement of rights and the law. Among other things, it filters down as lost homes, poor conditions in housing, inability to secure immigration status, poor treatment by public authorities and poor treatment by employers.

Greater Manchester Law Centre wanted to represent this societal decay by bringing together the experiences and creativity of people who have encountered the sharp end of a broken justice system. The idea for an exhibition came initially from GMLC Campaign Volunteer, Jacob Quested Khan.

Before long, the Law Centre had built a collection of stories drawn from interviews with clients and community members. It then commissioned 10 artists to produce original works of art to represent their ideas, emotions and thoughts about the legal system.

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Exhibition on show

GMLC secured Manchester Museum's top floor as the venue. The exhibition was held between 15th–16th January and attracted over 200 people. Reactions to the exhibition were captured in this film.

A second showing took place on Wednesday, 21st February, this time with a talk involving some of the contributors. Jamil Keating volunteers for Greater Manchester Tenants Union and helped to coordinate the exhibition. At this event, he reflected on the importance of the project in building collective strength in the face of adversity:

“Many people approach the law from a position of disempowerment and limited resources. Art is different. We approach it from a position of abundance."

Greater Manchester Law Centre opened in 2016, rising from the ashes of the legal aid cuts. It has always had a campaigning focus at its heart. The Law Centre will continue to pursue creative projects and use the resources generated from this exhibition to support its campaigning agenda. Access the exhibition brochure to view a selection of the art and stories.

For media enquiries, please contact media@lawcentres.org.uk

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