Uncertain Futures is a project with American artist Suzanne Lacy, Communities Learning Manager Ruth Edson, two University academics and an Advisory Group of Manchester women over 50. It seeks to address the inequalities facing Manchester women over 50 relating to work and worklessness. We want to understand how interconnected issues of gender, age, labour, class, migration status, disability and race impact women’s paid and unpaid work.
For the first iteration which opened in June 2021, the gallery space hosted live interviews with 100 women over 50 from all walks of life, alongside workshops, talks, and media presentations that explored equity and survival. The 100 women came together in March 2022 for a celebratory dinner.
In this second iteration we reveal the development of Uncertain Futures and the initial research findings. Alongside a new film of the 100 women dinner, there are artworks and a timeline outlining the development of the project. Uncertain Futures combines art, research and activism and aims to create real social change and affect social policy.
Following 100 interviews of women over 50 about their experiences of work, the findings of this unique co-produced art and research project are now available. Read the report below.
We are thrilled that the project has been selected as an outstanding case study for the UN’s Decade of Healthy Ageing Progress Report 2021-2023. You can read it here featured on page 15.
Since the 1970s, Lacy has used community organising strategies and media interventions to galvanise discussions about pressing social concerns including gender equity, violence against women, racism, immigration, and labour rights. These projects often culminate in large-scale, highly choreographed performances that bring together diverse groups of participants in public conversations. Lacy is a professor at the University of Southern California in the Roski School of Art and Design.
Uncertain Futures is a partnership between women and agencies in Manchester, Work and Skills MCC, University of Manchester School of Law and Social Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University School of Nursing and Social Care, MICRA – Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing.
Uncertain Futures has been co-produced by Suzanne Lacy with Ruth Edson, Community Learning Manager, and an Advisory Group of 15 women:
Akhter Azabany, Manchester resident, Erinma Bell, CARISMA Services, Sally Casey, Aquarius Tenants and Residents Association, Atiha Chaudry, GMBAMEN (Greater Manchester Black Asian Minority Ethnic Network), Rohina Ghafoor, MBMEN (Manchester Black Minority Ethnic Network), Marie Greenhalgh, Wythenshawe Good Neighbours, Teodora Ilieva, Manchester resident, Tendayi Madzunzu, ZIWO (Zimbabwe Women’s Organisation, Jila Mozoun, Raha – Womens Voices, Elayne Redford, Work and Skills Manchester City Council, Nadia Siddiqui, Womens’ Voices , Circle Steele, Wai Yin Society, Patricia Williams, Manchester resident, Louise Wong, Wai Yin Society.
The title is taken from the research consortium Uncertain Futures: Managing late-career transitions and extended working life led by Professor Sarah Vickerstaff.
The exhibition also premieres a new film of her 2013 project Cleaning Conditions.
Advisory Group members; Atiha Chaudry, Rohina Ghafoor and Tendayi Madzunzu are working closely with Researchers Dr Elain...
A series of employment focused sessions have been planned to provide women over 50 years old from across Manchester with...
Uncertain Futures began, before Covid, with the question: What does the increase in pension age mean for women over 5...