An exhibition of everyday items in use during the conflict in and about Northern Ireland will go on tour around Northern Ireland and the border counties from next month (March).
The exhibition has been organised by Healing Through Remembering (HTR), the cross-community organisation that focuses on ways of dealing with the conflict, with the aim of achieving a peaceful future for all.
Details of the tour were given today at HTR’s offices in Belfast.
The exhibition, called Everyday Objects Transformed by the Conflict, will first visit Derry/Londonderry in March.
It will then move on to Ballymoney, Clones in County Monaghan, Omagh, and the Falls and Shankill roads in Belfast. (full tour details are below).
A selection of exhibition items was on show at the HTR offices today. The items on display included:
A binlid – used as a communication tool and a means of protest in nationalist areas. The binlid is from the Roddy McCorley Museum;
A CS gas canister turned into a working lamp. The canister was fired by the RUC during the Battle of the Bogside in 1969;
An armoured clipboard carried by police at vehicle checkpoints in ‘high-risk’ areas. It was to give protection to officers if threatened with a handgun;
A sponge badge worn by loyalists in protest at strike leaders being called “spongers” by the then Prime Minster, Harold Wilson. The badge is from the Mid-Antrim Museum collection;
A tape recording by photojournalist Vincent Dargan of live transmissions from the pirate radio Station Radio Free Belfast, manned by Civil Rights and People’s Democracy members during 1969-70;
Captive Verses a book of poems by loyalist prisoners; and,
Behind the Barricades – an album by comedian James Young.
The exhibition will also include other sound recordings, and photographs and videos showing everyday events during the conflict. The full list of items that will be displayed during the tour includes over 50 artefacts.
Kate Turner, director of Healing Through Remembering, said: “So many everyday items assumed a new significance during the conflict – like a bin lid used for communication. And so many unusual things became everyday – like people and bags being searched before entering a shop.
“These objects offer a glimpse into the everyday lives and memories of individuals, communities and organisations, and so hopefully will help people explore the nature, causes and effect of conflict.
“We are very grateful to various collectors who have lent us a substantial number of items for the exhibition.”
The exhibition project originates from an audit of artefacts commissioned by Healing Through Remembering in partnership with the Insititute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast.
During the two-year audit, more than 400,000 artefacts relating to the conflict were documented from 79 public and private collections.
The exhibition will be staged at the following centres:
6 – 28 March: First Derry Presbyterian Church, Derry/Londonderry
12 April – 25 May: Bell Architects, Main St, Ballymoney
5 – 28 June: Clones Library, Clones, County Monaghan
6 – 21 July: Strule Arts Centre, Omagh
2 – 11 August: At two sites, St Mary’s College, Falls Rd and Spectrum Centre, Shankill Rd, Belfast. (It is recommended that visitors visit both sites to view the complete exhibition)