Votives in Manchester: International Day of Disabled People 2021

A small clay model of a person is displayed on a person's hand.
©Manchester Histories

Inspired by Emma-Jayne Graham’s lecture on votives in Ancient Rome, Venture Arts developed a workshop with Manchester Histories, on votives which took place at Manchester’s celebration of IDDP21, Dr Graham’s work explores the experience of disability in Rome through the models of body parts which were left at shrines. These body parts often represented impairments that visitors wanted healing, and included arms, legs, feet and ears. At Manchester Central Library, participants were able to create their own clay votives, inspired by their experiences of perceived impairment and disability.

Three people are sitting at a table, modelling clay.  One young black man, one white woman with a mask, one young white man with a mask are all looking at the camera.
© Manchester Histories

To find out more about votives in the Ancient world, you can watch Emma-Jayne’s lecture here. A shorter version is also available at Manchester Central Library with Archives+ on the listening pods.

Venture Arts is an award winning charity, working with artists with learning disabilities. The workshop was funded by Manchester Metropolitan University.

Seven young white people are sitting around a table taking part in a clay modelling workshop.  Everyone is wearing a mask and some are wearing blue plastic aprons.
© Rosamund Oates

Published by Dr Rosamund Oates

I am a Reader in Early Modern History at Manchester Metropolitan University. From 2021-2023 I have a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to research deafness in Early Modern England. Publications include Moderate Radical: Tobie Matthew and the English Reformation (Oxford University Press, 2018).

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