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Mango, meat and motors: Confronting the climate on Manchester’s Curry Mile

07 Dec 2022

Researchers from our Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) joined our neighbours to discuss how together we can make the Curry Mile a place that serves people and the environment.

Local residents in discussion

Zarina Ahmad and Professor Sherilyn MacGregor held the community-facing, friendly and generative discussion – Mangoes, meat and motors: confronting the climate on Manchester’s Curry Mile – at our Whitworth Art Gallery as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

The ideas shaping the event emerged from the Leverhulme-funded project ‘Towards Inclusive Environmental Sustainabilities (TIES)’.  

The project aims, among other things, to challenge the dominant Western conceptions of sustainability that inform socio-environmental policies and research, and to explore how Global South immigrant knowledges and practices contribute to socially just and sustainable urban environments in the UK.

The SCI’s research looks at how to reconfigure consumption and production systems so that they can contribute to less resource-intensive ways of life. Its projects explore the social relationships that hinder change, as well as those that might enable the transition to greater sustainability.

About 50 people attended the event, joining first to view an exhibition of photos submitted by local people over food and drink. Dr Safina Islam, Head of the AIURRRC, and Zahid Hussain, writer and Manchester City Councillor for Levenshulme, introduced the event.

Attendees participated in a ‘World Café’ facilitated by Zarina Ahmed, guided by the question: how does life, work and play on the Curry Mile help and/or hurt the environment? The answers generated will help the team produce a short report that combines TIES research with insights and photos from a diversity of local people.

It was encouraging that, in addition to local residents, the event was attended by businesspeople, grassroots activists, and councillors and officers of Manchester City Council.

The photos were scored by three independent judges, Jenna Ashton, Zahid Hussain and Qaisra Shahraz MBE.

The event received funding from the University of Manchester ESRC Festival team and the Sustainable Consumption Institute. Donations were received from two long-established businesses on the Curry Mile: £300 worth of gift vouchers as prizes for the top three photos from My Lahore and assorted Mithai to feed tables from Sanam Restaurant and Sweet Centre.

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