The history of the world is a history of movement.
The migration of people and objects – both voluntary and forced – is an important part of our histories. Yet migration is presented too often through colonial narratives in which people and objects from outside the UK are viewed as ‘other’. 
Ancient History, Contemporary Belonging shows us that we are all connected. 
This installation is a creative exploration of the migration of ancient historical objects by young people with migrant heritage. Drawing on archival research and their own lived experiences, they re-create the stories of the objects on display. 
By exploring interconnected histories and inheritances, these works offer new perspectives about the migration of both contemporary young people and ancient historical objects.
The project is a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Museum, Sheba Arts, and local young people from Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Palestinian, and Syrian backgrounds.

The exhibition, which launches at Manchester Museum on 9 March 2023, consists of ancient objects from Manchester’s collection and artworks produced by young people, together with a creative map showing the movements of people and objects:

  • “Displaced” / statuette from Ur, Iraq (English | Arabic | Kurdish)
  • “Home” / tiles from Amarna, Egypt (English | Arabic | Romanian)
  • “Kurdish Pain” / ivory relief from Nimrud, Iraq (English | Kurdish)
  • “The Journey” / sock from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt (English | Arabic)
  • “The Lasting Fate of Zahaak” / finial from Luristan, Iran (English | Farsi)
  • “The Tale of Migrants” / lamps from Syria-Palestine (English | Arabic)
  • “Untitled” / arrowheads from Memphis, Egypt (English | Arabic | Farsi)
  • “Untitled Dagger” / dagger from Luristan, Iran (English | Farsi)
  • “Woman. Life. Freedom” / pendant from Luristan, Iran (English | Farsi)