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The Manchester edition of Now Then is no longer publishing content. Visit the Sheffield edition.

Issue 60 November 2018

During October, we shared a visualisation via our Twitter feed of a potential future street layout for Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter. It created a range of lively debate around ideas of permeability, movement of people and service to business premises.

It ties in nicely with Michael Ashcroft’s art feature for this issue. One of the striking aspects about his collection of Manchester’s street scenes is the reminder that we have allowed so much of the city to be gifted to car use. It’s a perverse portioning of space when you consider that most people in any city centre will spend most of their time walking. The Danish architect Jan Gehl has long since helped to positively change his country’s vistas to be human scaled and people focused, but the British car reliance, obsession and lobbying culture has been persistent since its postwar proliferation. The Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, alongside the regional authorities like TfGM, has been focusing on the sickening air quality levels as a means to win hearts and minds, but it’s a constant battle against the status quo, as even our cultural institutions are taking the tokenistic oil money, as Lucas Jones discusses in Localcheck.

It’s little wonder South Manchester producer Aver has been creating dystopian beats, as we find out in one of our featured interviews this month. We also have a word with avant-garde electronica super-group Szun Waves and local spoken wordsmith Keisha Thompson.

Elsewhere, we have a packed issue filled with a variety of Greater Manchester’s offerings. Food looks back at the Big Indie Wine Fest at Manchester Food and Drink Festival; Word Life muses on the theme of ‘gifts’; Sound includes festival, record and live reviews; Stage covers the Early Doors live adaptation; and Filmreel focuses on Doctor Who and FilmFear.

As ever, we welcome new perspectives and continue to be a platform for citizen journalism, so ping an email to the address below to get involved.

Enjoy the read.

This month's articles

Shell Setting The Agenda

The irony of Shell sponsoring a celebratory event around power generation, and what this says about attitudes to climate change in the UK…

Aver Dressed For CCTV

Wearing an armful of sci-fi literature and crate-dug obscure jazz on his sleeve, Joe Mills, aka Aver, first gained creative renown from his…

Filmreel Doctor Who?

Oh, Brilliant! “Is the future gonna be all girl?” sniped John Simm’s adaptation of The Master, back in 2017. “We can only hope,” replied…

The Big Indie Wine Fest

The closing weekend of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival saw the return of the Big Indie Wine Fest. It’s the 11th year of this…

Live / stage review Agbeko

Agbeko raised the roof of the Soup Kitchen at their sold out gig. The Manchester 11-piece’s no holds barred performance was clearly loved…

Michael John Ashcroft This Is Manchester

We caught up with Lancashire artist Michael John Ashcroft to learn about what inspires him, his love for the city and what to expect next.