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Cloud Studies

Part of MIF21, 2 July – 18 July
Continues at the Whitworth until 17 October 2021

Cloud Studies | Forensic Architecture

From Palestine to Beirut, London to Indonesia and the US–Mexico border, Forensic Architecture investigate, explore and expose how power reshapes the very air we breathe in this urgent and compelling exhibition.

Tear gas clouds spread poison where we gather, bomb clouds vaporise buildings, chemical weapons suffocate entire neighbourhoods and air pollution targets the marginalised. Our air is weaponised. Our clouds are toxic.

Cloud Studies includes the first phase of a major new Forensic Architecture investigation, commissioned for the Festival by the Whitworth and MIF, on environmental racism along the banks of the Mississippi in Louisiana. Here, majority-Black communities whose ancestors were enslaved on these grounds breathe the most toxic air in the US – leading to the region’s nickname, 'Cancer Alley'.

Forensic Architecture is a research agency of architects, artists, filmmakers, journalists, lawyers, scientists and software developers that investigates state and corporate violence. Cloud Studies is their first exhibition in Manchester.

Please note: To fully experience this exhibition headphones are required. You will be given a pair of sanitised headphones when you enter the exhibition and these should be returned when you leave. You are very welcome to bring your own headphones for use in the exhibition

You can also experience Cloud Studies online via MIF Live, part of MIF21 – click here for details

Commissioned and produced by the Whitworth, The University of Manchester and Manchester International Festival.

Image: Courtesy of the artist




The safety of our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff is our highest priority. As well as following all government and industry guidelines, we’re working closely with specialist safety consultants to ensure all our venues are COVID-safe and secure for everyone. You can read more details about our safety measures on our Visit Us page, which we’ll update regularly between now and the Festival.


We want to ensure everyone has the chance to enjoy MIF21: in person at live events, through our free public artworks and online. We’ll announce access performances and provide detailed access information when tickets go on sale. If you’d like to receive news about access performances by email, register for an MIF account, click ‘Other Preferences’, select your access requirement and then click ‘Email me updates about accessible events at MIF’.

Public Statement with regard to the Cloud Studies Exhibition

Cloud Studies Exhibition
We recognise the Cloud Studies exhibition, by Forensic Architecture raises complex issues with widely differing views across different communities and, as a university and gallery, we are also mindful of our role in creating spaces for debate and in academic and artistic freedom. Read the full statement here.


2 July – 17 October 2021

Our opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm
Click here for visit information



The Whitworth, as part of the University of Manchester, is a non-political organisation and while respecting the right of the artist to express their views which is at the heart of artistic practice and mission, the views expressed are those of the artists and should not be considered to represent those of the Whitworth or the University.