‘Everyday Objects Transformed by the Conflict’ exhibition opens in Belfast city centre

An exhibition of everyday items transformed during the conflict in and about Northern Ireland will displayed from 20 May – 29 July 2014 in a city centre unit on Queen Street, across from the old Athletic Stores building in Belfast.

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.  The exhibition is called Everyday Objects Transformed by the Conflict and items on show include:

  • A dove for peace and hope presented to the people of Omagh with hope for their future from the staff and pupils of St James Street CBS Dublin;
  • A CS gas canister turned into a working lamp. The canister was fired by the RUC during the Battle of the Bogside in 1969;
  • A bin lid – used as a communication tool and a means of protest in nationalist areas;
  • A bullet proof clipboard carried by police at vehicle checkpoints in ‘high-risk’ areas. It was to give protection to officers if threatened with a handgun;
  • A sponger badge worn during a protest by loyalist strike leaders at being called “spongers” by the then Prime Minster, Harold Wilson;
  • 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 objects, sound recordings, photographs and videos showing everyday events during the conflict.  Artefacts will be displayed from collectors from all different political perspectives and backgrounds. The collection of objects has been loaned by various museums, libraries, archives and private collections from Northern Ireland, through the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The exhibition comes to this particular Belfast city centre location after touring Derry/Londonderry, Ballymoney (Co. Antrim), Clones (Co. Monaghan), Omagh (Co. Tyrone), Belfast, and Dundalk in 2012 and 2013.

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 collectors who have lent us a substantial number of items for the exhibition.”

Funding for this current development of the exhibition has come from Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund) and the European Union Peace III Programme with help from Belfast City Council and the International Coalition for Sites of Conscience.

Entrance to the exhibition is free.  The exhibition will be open to the public from 20 May through 29 July 2014 at Unit 6 Lyndon Court, Queen Street, Belfast BT1 6EF at the following times:

Mondays – Wednesdays:  10am – 4pm
Thursdays:  10am – 7pm
Fridays:  10am – 1pm

If you would like to contribute a story about an everyday object you own, and which has been transformed by the conflict, please contact exhibition curator Tríona White Hamilton. – Tel: (0044)28 9023 8844 Email: exhibition [at] healingthroughremembering.org


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Notes to Editors

  • For further information please contact:  Jayme Reaves, Project Coordinator at Healing Through Remembering – Tel: (0044) 28 9023 8844 Email: projectcoord [at] healingthroughremembering.org
  • Healing Through Remembering (HTR) is an independent initiative made up of a diverse membership with different political perspectives working on a common goal of how to deal with the legacy of the past as it relates to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland.
  • The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.  The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 we have awarded close to £6bn.  The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
  • The PEACE III Programme, funded under the European Region Development Fund (ERDF), is worth 333 Euro million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation.  It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.  For more information on the SEUPB, please visit http://www.seupb.eu.