Here's How Manchester Locals Feel After Monday's Terrorist Attack

"We are British, we are staying strong. We’re not going to change our lives.”

Following Monday night's suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, which left 22 dead and injured dozens of concert goers, many locals have returned to their daily lives with a heightened awareness of their surroundings and safety.

Magnum photographer Matt Stuart took to Manchester's streets the morning after the attack to document the feelings of its locals as they attempt to restore a sense of normality.

1. Emma, 18, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“Some of my friends were at the concert and one of them said she was trampled over, but they’re all doing well now. We were at university this morning and now we’re going shopping. You can’t give up on living.”

2. Aaron, 32, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“When I heard the news this morning, I was shocked. I wanted to come into the city to get an idea of what had happened. It feels different, emptier than usual. The police have said to avoid the city center, and it’s clear that many people have taken this advice. Many shops are closed too. You can feel that many people have been affected. It’s like a bad dream.”

3. Ben, 20, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“I am shocked. The attack felt close to home. I am proud of my city; everyone is helping each other. I came to the city today to take photos for my Instagram account. I want to show the world that we’re still laughing.”

4. Jonathan, 36, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“It is shocking, so many kids. It’s pure brutality — these people know no limits. I have a 2-and-a-half-year-old. I can imagine what other parents must be feeling. I am a little concerned, but as we say: don’t let them win.”

5. Rhianne, 18, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“I found out about the attack this morning, after waking up. My mother cried, my father had shrunken into himself. It could have happened to me or my little sister. I know people who wanted to go to the concert. The atmosphere in Manchester is pretty heavy, but the city has good community spirit. You can feel something has happened.”

6. Ayax, 18, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“My family moved here from Somalia when I was ten. We left to avoid the bombs. We wanted safety and a friendly life. And now a bomb goes off here. It changes our perception of the country. At some point I will die, but I don’t want to die from a bomb. It should make people furious, that a bomb has gone off here.”

7. Owen, 34, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“I know a few people who were at the concert; some colleagues from my bar on Canal Street. I also thought about going. Luckily nothing happened to them. It was probably some crazy one-time offender, a madman. And the media are doing him a favor by making it a big deal. We should stay cool and continue living our lives.”

8. Abdullah, 19, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“It is really very scary. These kinds of things happen in the news, but not in your own city. I’m not afraid, but I think others are. I would never have gone to the concert, it’s not my kind of music.”

9. Joshua, 22, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“I wasn’t expecting an attack, even though we are constantly being reminded that we should be. People are worried, the city is not as lively as usual. As I was travelling into the city this morning, many people suggested against it. As the Arndale Shopping Centre was being cleared, I immediately called my mother. But I am glad, that this city is pulling through. Everyone is offering rooms, taxi drivers have been taking people for free. That is why I love this city so much. We are British, we are staying strong. We’re not going to change our lives.”

10. Emily, 21, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

"I actually wanted to go to the concert with a friend, but then she decided to go on holiday instead and so we didn’t end up going. I live around the corner from the Arena and heard the explosion. I didn’t think anything of it at first, not even when the ambulances arrived. I was constantly hearing sirens in the area. But then came the texts, friends were asking if I was okay. I started reaching out to friends on social media too. Ariana Grande is an icon of the LGBT community, and I have lots of friends there. It’s really heartbreaking that it happened here.”

11. Paolo, 30, Italian, has lived in Manchester for 5 years.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

"On Tuesday morning I was at my Phone Shop in the Arndale Shopping Centre, when suddenly people started running towards me. They were screaming for everyone to get out. Even the security personnel were shouting. I left everything and joined them. Outside, I asked a Policeman what had actually happened. He said, a suspicious bag was found. In the end it was nothing. We do an evacuation drill twice a year, but I had never experienced a real emergency. I’m very afraid that something else will happen after yesterday night’s attack.”

12. Chloe, 18, from Manchester.

Matt Stuart / Magnum Photos

“It’s terrifying. It’s not right to do something like that to kids. I never would have thought that that could happen here. Those kinds of things happen in London. When I heard the helicopters circling, I thought, 'Oh my god, this is real.' I still can’t quite believe it."

Quotes by Spiegel in coordination with Magnum Photos.



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.