‘Begin the world over again’ podcast series

Date: 1 August 2020 to 30 November 2020

Location: Salford and Greater Manchester

Client: Working Class Movement Library and Walk the Plank

A suite of six new podcasts created by artists working from the Working Class Movement Library's collection of material.


Conceived during CV-19 lockdown, this exciting collaboration aims to use the radical thoughts and actions of the past - as documented within the Library’s collection - to prompt new thinking and share it through a suite of six podcasts. The podcasts will cover a range of themes from what the welfare state should look like in the 21st century to challenging institutionalised racism within the context of Black Lives Matter.

“This brave and ambitious 2020 project involves artists and members of the Library's writing group working together to explore the radical ideas of the collection within a contemporary context.  We want each of our podcast duos to bring the same revolutionary verve to their exploration of their chosen themes to provoke new polemic thoughts.” Ben Turner, Walk the Plank’s project co-ordinator.

The project has been made possible through Arts Council Emergency funds, Duchy of Lancaster and University of Salford

Available on all main podcast platforms, the first episode will be released on Thursday 19 November with the remainder of the series made available over the following three weeks.

Find out more information on the project here.

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast here

Each podcast will draw on material from the collection:

Episode one Inspiring women and women who are inspiring

Part 1: ‘Don’t you say a word about my mother' Is there a girl or woman who is part of your family, friendship group, or your local community who inspires you and why?

Part 2: ‘Speaking Out is The Power’ Women have the right to vote, can you think of any issues still facing women in terms of equality?

Part 3: 'It only takes for us to sit and not speak to be colluding' Can you think of a time when you have been confronted by inequality because of your gender? How did you deal with this moment, how did it make you feel?

Composer and sound artist Sarah Llewellyn working with Helen Jackson

Episode two Is there grass growing in-between the cobbles? Roaming in and around the WCML archives

Artist Danielle Porter working with Hilary Friend

Episode three How can Engels show us the way forward beyond 2020, as we ensure that "an ounce of action is worth a ton of theory"?

Composer Alan Williams working with Christina McAlpine

Episode four The Establishment and the Welfare State. How much Paine before we change the world?

Composer and sound designer Dan Steele working with Peter Wright

Episode five Can solidarity make a comeback?

Artist Alison Surtees working with Tracy Drysdale

Episode six How do we continue the fight against institutional racism in Britain today?

Artist Danielle ‘Lae’ Carbon-Wilson working with Jemma Bromley

Begin the World Over Again image created by Polyp

Introductions by Reece Williams / Additional production by Siân Roberts

Begin the World Over Again image created by Polyp

Social Media Curator Siân Roberts has been working alongside the artists, project manager, Ben Turner, and colleagues at WCML / WTP to amplify the impact of the project.

This is not the first time the Library have used the collection to inspire a podcast. Listen to Abigail Ward’s podcast, exploring the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Council here.

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months. The reflection is awful, and in this point of view, how trifling, how ridiculous, do the little paltry cavilings of a few weak or interested men appear, when weighed against the business of a world.” Thomas Paine, activist, philosopher, author: Rights of Man

The podcasts will be shared publicly from November 2020; and in a second phase, groups in Salford / Greater Manchester will work with an artist to make a creative response to the podcasts. Groups include: Little Hulton Big Local Youth Unity, Salford Youth Service (Irlam and Cadishead), Irlam and Cadishead Festival and Manchester Consortium of Nature.

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