Manchester Jewish Museum

Artists in the Archives



Online via our YouTube channel



Over summer 2020, we paired up some of our Artists’ Network to talk about how they re-imagine archives in their work. We asked them to tell us about what inspired them to use personal (family) archives or institutional (museum) archives in their work, what are the responsibilities or struggles of working with archives, and how archives have enriched their practice.

The result is a collection of short films made from home across the UK and in Texas, USA. We invite you to watch these joyous, touching and intimate conversations (including dancing in the garden!). We will release the 8 films from November so keep checking back on our YouTube channel.


Our thanks to the following artists who brought so much of themselves and engaged so openly with each other over a difficult summer. We hope you enjoyed the process of meeting each other and making connections:

  • Julia Davis Nosko
  • Victor Esses
  • Adam McKinney
  • Tamara Micner
  • Miriam Sherwood


Our first artists are Tamara Micner (‘Holocaust Brunch’ and ‘Old Friends’) and Victor Esses (‘Where to Belong’ and ‘Displace’) speaking about how they use and collect archives in their work – including discussing what characters taste like!


In our second film, performance artists Adam McKinney and Tamara Micner chat to each other about Yiddish, early memories, and how they incorporate these things into their work.


In our third film Tamara Micner speaks to Julia Davis Nosko about using their family histories in their work, and how they attempt to untangle the mess and silence that goes along with it. A fascinating and moving conversation on the ethics of creating art from other people’s stories.


In the below film performance artists Miriam Sherwood and Victor Esses discuss the responsibility of using personal and family stories when creating new work.


In 2020 performance artist Miriam Sherwood presented her show ‘Rendezvous in Bratislava’ at The Lowry alongside ‘The Great and the Grand’ in which local participants explored their relationships with their grandparents. Here she talks with our own Creative Producer Laura Seddon on how they used oral histories to reconnect with family histories.

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