Graphic Lives:

Telling Bangladeshi migrant women's stories through graphic narratives

Project Director: Sarah McNicol
Amount: £23,000
Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund
Duration: Feb 2017 - Jan 2018

This joint project between MMU and Hyde Community Action saw women from the British Bangladeshi community in Hyde (Greater Manchester) exploring their own life stories and the historical narratives of their communities through workshops on life history, cross-cultural storytelling and digital skills, as well as visits to Manchester Museum, the Whitworth Art Gallery and MMU Special Collections to engage with collections. The women developed communication, digital and creative skills and confidence that enabled them to use a simple online comics creation tool to communicate their own multimedia story using photographs; drawings; and text in any language. The comics they produced highlight the emotions associated with migration in an immediate and relatable way.

To share the comics more widely, we organised a celebration event for the local community and showcased the project at local and national events and festivals including Oldham Libraries; Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival; and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. We also ran sessions in local schools and public events at Manchester Met.

Graphic lives: telling Bangladeshi migrant women's stories through graphic narratives was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to widen representations of migrant heritage in order to raise awareness; change attitudes and behaviours; and ultimately, improve understanding and cohesion.

This is a report of the project we submitted to the HLF.

A Summary version of the women's stories can be read here

Read the comics created by the women:

This is a summary of some of the main themes common across the women's comics.

You can see more of the project activities in this booklet

If you would like to try making comics for yourself, this teaching pack has instructions for all the activities we did.

For more information about the project, please contact Sarah McNicol, or telephone 0161 247 5104


Our Research