When Harry Yeates photographed and interviewed John Cooper Clarke as part of his final year project at The Manchester College in 2018, one of his tutors decided to turn it into an ongoing project for all of their students.
Called Greater Mancunians, Harry Potts wanted to give them the chance to photograph those people born, bred, or who have made their home Manchester and who have in some way culturally shaped the city and its surrounding boroughs.
He and the students invite musicians, sportsmen and women, entertainers, entrepreneurs, politicians, actors, comedians, artists and community champions to be photographed in a poignant or significant location of their choosing. And then share the portraits on a dedicated blog.
After two years in the making, the project now has 60 students on-board and a growing number of high profile Mancunians already featured, including Tate Director Maria Balshaw, comedian Jason Manford, peace activist Dr Erinma MBE, Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, street artist Qubek, artist and illustrator Stanley Chow, Christine Cort – Manchester International Festival MD and co-founder, local mayor Andy Burnham, and graphic designer and art director, Peter Saville.
With the recent backing of Manchester City Council, Greater Mancunians has some big plans for 2020, including a publication and summer exhibition in the city. Watch this space!