Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival!

Crossing Footprints has developed a set of events focusing on Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival 8-12 June 2022. This year’s theme for the Festival is the history of climate change, for which Manchester has played a pivotal role as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

Climate Change is a Race and Migration Is for Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival 2022
photo credit: Joe Brusky

We’ve organised four events in solidarity with low income and racially marginalised communities, including a panel discussion ‘Climate Change is a Race and Migration Issue‘ followed by a powerful Bangladeshi theatre piece ‘GHOORNI‘ by Ayna Arts, both at Manchester Central Library on Friday 10th June from 6pm. Then on Saturday 11th June at 6.15pm the singer-songwriter Emmanuela Yogolelo from DR Congo will perform a music set focused on Climate Justice at Angel Meadow. Finally, throughout the Festival the ‘Climate Connections‘ set of short video films made mostly by low income and diverse communities in Oldham responding to climate change will be exhibited on a screen at Oldham Art Gallery, with an informal talk by project director Kooj Chuhan at 1pm, Saturday 11th June.

Video still from video by Emmanuela Yogolelo for Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival

More details about our events for Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival below:

Climate Change is a Race and Migration Issue (Panel Discussion)

at Manchester Central Library, 6pm Friday 10th June 2022 – BOOK HERE

The largest impact that climate change will have on humans is said to be migration, with large numbers already having had to migrate. When the environment you live in becomes over-stretched your homes and livelihoods are threatened and you have to move before it’s too late. However, adding to the barriers against migration is that refugee status for climate migrants has as yet to be legally recognised.

This panel presentation and discussion will look at the history of migration, and how environmental refugees have always been there but have been increasing drastically over recent decades. Manchester’s history of activism on migration will be at the fore-front of this event, looking at how this activism may need to further evolve in the future. Panel members will include researcher and writer Alex Randall from the Climate & Migration Coalition; creative producer, artist and filmmaker Kooj Chuhan; musician and activist Emmanuela Yogolelo from DR Congo; visual researcher and activist Rabia Begum; and the antiracist activist Peninah Wangari-Jones who directs the Racial Justice Network. This discussion will set the critical context for our programme of Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival.

‘GHOORNI – a disastrous cycle’ by Ayna Arts

at Manchester Central Library, 7.30pm Friday 10th June 2022 – BOOK HERE

'GHOORNI - a disastrous cycle' by Ayna Arts for Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival 2022
[painting by Tutul Ahmed]

Drama performance about a young person piecing together their grandfather’s arrival in the UK from Bangladesh in the ’70’s, when due to the colonial legacies of conflict and poverty he left a country with little climate impact to work in a UK industry with high climate impact. This climate impact would be damaging mostly his own home country rather than the country he ended up working for. His grandchild is climate vigilant through their lessons in school, but only through the grandfather’s story do they realise the global system that brought them here is the same as that which is destroying the climate especially for Bangladesh. Performance will be followed by a Q+A session.


About the company: ‘Ayna’ (‘mirror’ in English), also means ‘come along’. Ayna Arts is a platform for creative people to come together to empower and express themselves. The group aims to develop individuals’ creativity, sense of community and explore social and humanitarian issues that affect our community through theatre. Ghoorni is a new theatrical development following their well received play ‘Orna’ which explored the issues of abuse and oppression of women.

Scene from a play by Ayna Arts

Emmanuela Yogolelo with the Amani Collective

at Angel Meadow Park, 6.15pm on Saturday 11th June 2022 – no booking required

Emmanuela Yogolelo with the Amani Collective for Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival 2022

Singer-songwriter, music facilitator and storyteller Emmanuela Yogolelo will perform with selected musicians from the Amani Collective and with live audience participation. Her set will include music from a project to explore climate justice activism through music and other art forms, giving a voice to people’s experiences of climate change in the global south. Emmanuela’s music is rooted in African gospel, Afro jazz and Congolese styles, but also incorporates a range of global influences. She grew up in Democratic Republic of Congo where she was exposed to the traditional acoustic music of the Shi and Mbuti pygmies, the musical genres of neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi, the music of the streets, the radio and the local nganda pubs.

According to Emmanuela, “People in the global south suffer from the effects of climate change the most even though they contribute the least to the climate changing. It is their voices we are not hearing in leading talks about climate change. In the global south there are people who still have the knowledge and willingness to live in harmony with nature and we all could learn from them. Act local but think global.”

Climate Connections: new climate voices on video

at Oldham Art Gallery, 9th-12th June 2022 – no booking required

Climate Connections: new climate voices on video for Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival 2022

Short film series from the Climate Connections project, connecting diverse, migrant and low income communities with climate change. A new digital arts project enabling diverse, migrant and working class local people from Oldham to have a voice in the environmental movement and creating a series of ultra-short videos intended for social media. Showing as a loop on a public screen in Oldham Art Gallery and then available to view online, they include:

‘Climate, Conflict & Resources in Africa are driving migration’ – by musician and activist Emmanuela Yogolelo filmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo
‘Action Is Needed’ – powerful and expressive words and images from members of Oldham Lifelong Learning Service
‘Years Of Bad Habits’ – presents a Bangladesh perspective using original images, words and music by photographer Murad Chowdhury
‘Old Versus New: Technology, Pollution and Climate Change’ – a Pakistan focus by Fatima Womens Association (Oldham) collaborating with Sarah Yaseen
‘Burning Coal’ – a live solo music performance by Sufi-soul singer, musician and composer Sarah Yaseen

The screenings in Oldham Art Gallery will be accompanied by an informal talk by producer Kooj and local contributors at 1pm on Saturday 11th June (no booking required).

Films are also available to view online – either via our YouTube channel or at

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