25th July 2018 Tess Hudak

Launched at Manchester Art Gallery on World Homeless Day on 10 October 2018


 Objectified is an interactive exhibition and project that explores the hidden causes of homelessness and the science behind how people become dehumanised.

The project involves staging the stories of 20 objects donated to the museum from a range of people, many of whom are or who have been homeless. To make Objectified has been working with world class social neuroscientist Dr Lasana Harris to explore the neuroscience behind how people become marginalised.

Museums usually hold great treasures like paintings in golden frames, marble statues or grand old books. Our treasures might look ordinary in comparison, they include bin bags, tobacco and a comb. But each is a fragment of a life lived. The stories they tell challenge stereotypes about what it means to be homeless and reveal a history that’s too often hidden. We think they can change your mind in a literal sense, altering how the brain responds to homelessness.

Objectified will continue until mid 2019 and more information will be announced in due course. Objectified is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Patient Safety Translational Research Centre.

Objectified documentary – live now

Directed by talented film-maker Dorothy Allen-Pickard, this short Objectified docu-drama presents an original blend of verbatim performances, neuroscientific research and group discussion that explores how the power of objects and stories can change the way we respond to homelessness.

What else has happened?

The project launched with a five day interactive exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery on 10 October that featured film, verbatim performances and discussions. It has also included:

The Human Stories of Homelessness, 27 October, Federation House

Museum of Homelessness presented a two hour workshop as part of the the Manchester Science Festival  that  featured MoH co-founders Matt and Jess, neuroscientist Lasana Harris and the object story performers. The workshop offered people a chance to understand in greater depth, the science behind the project and once again hear some of our object story performers.

Actions on Homelessness on 14 November, Nowgen Centre 

Actions for Change was an all day event exploring homelessness, primary health care, patient safety and mental health through a range of interactive workshops, discussions and presentations. Throughout 2018, the Museum of Homelessness (MoH) has been collaboratively developing a partnership with the Patient Safety Translational Research Centre and the Public Programmes Team at Manchester University NHS Trust to explore how a museum object – and its story – can affect positive change in health care settings and research.

Project partners

It has been further supported in part by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC) and Public Programmes team at Manchester University NHS Trust. The views expressed in Objectified are those of the author(s) and donor(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Key partners on the project include ThoughtworksManchester Art GalleryMustard TreeH3 – Helping the Homeless into Housing and Groundswell.



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