Manchester’s rapid development has fuelled a population boom of almost 20,000 people. Young professionals are drawn to this city in North West England by the growth in skilled jobs and an attractive accommodation and cultural offer.
At the same time, there’s been a huge growth in homelessness. The waiting list for social housing has swelled to 80,000 and promises of affordable housing have come to nothing.
Amidst the paradox of boom and crisis, the nature of neighbourliness is changing. Questions are being asked about how the city is taking shape – who is making decisions, and who is benefiting.
Working in Manchester and Salford, Quarantine is leading a project called ‘Tenancy’. The company are renting a home for one year and inviting artists to live there, get to know their neighbours and make new work. Some may come for a series of weekends, others may stay for weeks or even months at a time.
Quarantine is also curating a series of events in the house for neighbours, artists and interested parties, sewing a thread of critical thinking and conversation throughout the project.
Quarantine is an ensemble of artists and producers who make work that engages with everyday life in direct and radical ways. Formed in 1998 by directors Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea with designer Simon Banham, it leads the way in work made with untrained performers.
Created with a shifting constellation of artistic collaborators, the work is drawn from lengthy and intimate research with its performers. Presented in original and often surprising ways, it aims to create the circumstances for open conversations between strangers.
The company has staged dance marathons where performers share their histories through movement, invited audiences along to a family party, and given people the chance to connect with a serving soldier by singing a duet in a karaoke booth.
Quarantine’s roots are in Manchester, but it makes and tours work around the world, to arts venues and festivals, cafés and train stations.
The end of Meet the Neighbours will be marked with a public event in Manchester, UK, in November 2019.
Produced by Quarantine, it will be a weekend of encounters, conversation, food and music exploring city living, neighbourliness and making a life amid the chaos of urban change.
Funders and supporters
Tenancy has been made possible through the support of Tom Bloxham, Ben Caldwell, Gina Fletcher, Allan and Jo Melzack, Susan Webster, George Whalley, and everyone who donated an item to the house, as well as the Bloxham Charitable Trust, The Granada Foundation, JLL, Shoosmiths LLP, Slater Heelis and Urban Splash.