Groundbreaking Troubles arts installation launch

Living with the legacy of The Troubles is a very real, and very painful experience for many people caught up in the conflict.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 10:16 am
The six participants in Questions of Legacy, Paul Gallagher, Alex Bunting, Mark Kelly, Peter Eastwood, Margaret Yeaman, and Jennifer McNern.

Living with the scars, mental and physical is a daily struggle.

Their stories have never been told. Until now, with a series of podcasts entitled ‘Questions of Legacy’ which is being launched at the Holywell Trust in Derry at 6pm on Thursday February 20. It will run until February 25.

Six people severely impacted by The Troubles, including members of the “Injured On The Day” group who have an ongoing fight for recognition of their trauma, are reliving the days that changed their lives forever.

Alex Bunting and Peter Eastwood who will be telling their stories in Questions of Troubles, pictured with artist Pamela Brown.

They include Jennifer McNern: “On the fourth of March 1972 I was injured by a no warning bomb in the Abercorn restaurant in Belfast City Centre, I lost both my legs and other serious fractures in my body.”

Mark Kelly was caught up in a no warning UVF bomb explosion in the Glen Inn, Glengormley in 1976. He lost one leg above the knee and the other below the knee.

And Peter Heathwood who was shot by loyalists in 1979. His father had a heart attack and died at the scene because he thought his son had been killed. Peter is now a paraplegic and must use a wheelchair every day.

The podcasts, recorded interviews documenting the stories and experiences of each participant, are presented as arts installation with booths created as dedicated “listening stations” adorned with the images and news cuttings related to each story being told. There is also a published book with transcripts of the podcast materials.

These podcasts are accompanied by an original musical score and the published book will be made available free to any interested party. A designer, Phil Ruddock was procured to build the listening stations for the installation.

Following the week long stint at Holywell Trust, ‘Questions of Legacy’ will tour various locations included HMP Magilligan, and WAVE Trauma Centre in Belfast where the ‘Injured On The Day’ group are based. Other venues will be confirmed.

The piece has been commissioned by the Theatre and Peace Building Academy who invited local artist Pamela May Brown to deliver the project.

Pamela Mary Brown is Writer-in-Residence at HMP Magilligan. Creative Writing Tutor-Assessor, North West Regional College. Poet-founder of ‘Poetry Chicks’ who performed extensively in Ireland/UK; Workshops and Creative Writing Facilitator at public venues, schools and institutions in Ireland/UK; studied Community Drama, University of Ulster; Media Studies at the Foyle Arts Centre, Derry. BA (Hons) Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. In Any Shape or Form (Short stories, 2018), An Irish Lullaby (Novel 2015). The Fag (Short Film Award in Clones) 2009 (co-writer credit). A Rainy Climate (1994) play Edinburgh Festival. ‘Til Death do us Part (1993) play The Playhouse, Derry.

This project is supported by the Peace IV Programme, an EU funded programme designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region. It is managed by the Special EU Progammes Body, (SEUPB)