Ulster University opens new free exhibition offering a glimpse into the lives of those who lived through conflict in Northern Ireland
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To mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, Ulster University is launching a unique exhibition ‘Everyday objects transformed by the conflict’ showcasing objects that offer a glimpse into the lives and memories of those who lived through conflict in Northern Ireland.
Developed by Healing Through Remembering, the free exhibition reveals unique and everyday stories through a range of loaned objects and their accompanying labels, all written in the words of those who own them.
Objects such as twisted metal from an exploded car, a journalist's notes scribbled onto unused cheques, a bullet-proof clipboard used by the security forces, as well as a matchbox with a well-known unionist slogan ‘Ulster says No’ printed on its cover, are examples of the range of diverse objects on loan for this exhibition, located on the Londonderry campus.
The stories behind these objects not only offer a glimpse into the everyday lives and memories of individuals, communities, and organisations, but they also help visitors explore the nature, causes and effects of conflict, recognised as some of the most difficult years gone by in our history and in many people's lives.
The exhibition does not aim to agree on one single version of history but instead allows people from various backgrounds to speak for themselves.
Professor Brandon Hamber, John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill, chair in Peace, Ulster University expresses the significance of this unique exhibit: “This is an important exhibition to bring to the Derry-Londonderry Campus. As we reflect on 25 years since the Belfast Agreement, it reminds us of the complex and varied stories we need to integrate into our society if we are to create sustainable peace. The legacy of the conflict is not something we can legislate away but needs to be engaged with in a detailed way and with care, the exhibit provides this very opportunity, and I am delighted we can share it with the university community and the wider public.”
Kate Turner, director of Healing Through Remembering, explained: “This exhibition offers a range of views, perspectives, and experiences all explained through everyday objects by the objects’ owners, in their own words. This insight into the lives of others is all the more important when the lack of an agreed narrative of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland is seen as a major hindrance to progressing peace.”
The exhibit is a free event supported by INCORE and Healing Through Remembering, in partnership with the John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace, hosted at the Ulster University Londonderry campus, first floor in the MU building open to the public until November 15.