It’s not often that you can say that Manchester has made the headlines for the wrong reasons, but there has been reasonable clamour and an incredible social media response for a photo taken on New Year’s Eve in Manchester which has gone viral across the world.
The picture - which I sure you will have seen – has been likened to a classic renaissance painting (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jan/03/like-a-beautiful-painting-image-of-new-years-mayhem-in-manchester-goes-viral), exuding drama from left to right, and front to back. There have been multiple articles in the national press, comparisons with Fibonacci spirals, and one newspaper even tracked down those pictured to interview them?!
As a Mancunian, we are comfortable at laughing at ourselves, and there are doubtless plenty of us who shared the image on social media because we found it funny. But I do worry that the wider world, and the rest of the UK, think that this is typical of a night out in Manchester. As if the roads are paved not with gold, but with topless men casually relaxing and drinking a beer and watching the world (and the police) go by.
Given the actual renaissance which has been taking place across the city for the last few years, it’s a real shame that this one will be the enduring image of Manchester in 2015. It would’ve been better far better if there were images of the thriving Northern Quarter, the bustling (and famous) Christmas markets, the shiny new skyscrapers built or under construction, or the regenerated shopping area, or any host of genuine positives from the city…
But obviously, you can’t control the media. And it is a fantastic photograph.
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