Troubles book and display at museum

A book exploring the development of National Museums NI’s Troubles and Beyond exhibition and the wider Collecting the Troubles and Beyond project at Ulster Museum has been published by senior curator of History, Dr Karen Logan.

Dr Karen Logan with EastSide Partnership’s heritage officer Lisa Rea Currie at their community display
Dr Karen Logan with EastSide Partnership’s heritage officer Lisa Rea Currie at their community display

Entitled ‘Curating Conflict: The Troubles and Beyond,’ the book details National Museums NI’s work on the five-year project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, documenting the organisation’s engagement with academic and community partners and the public to develop the collection and shape the exhibition.

In 2019, Karen was awarded a Headley Fellowship with Art Fund, made possible with the support of the Headley Trust. Designed to give curators the necessary resources to focus on specific areas of a collection, the fellowship allowed Karen to focus on Ulster Museum’s Contemporary and Community History Collections.

Karen said: “The book sets out our approach and shares our learning and experience, particularly in relation to the representation of diverse voices and multiple perspectives through collaboration and co-creation.”

The book is accompanied by a co-curated community display entitled ‘Pandemics Past and Present’, created by Karen in collaboration with EastSide Partnership and a group of volunteers interested in the heritage of East Belfast.

Currently installed in Ulster Museum’s Modern History gallery, the display focuses on the present pandemic and other public health crises of the past, drawing together the groups’ research, the museum’s existing collection and community objects and stories.

It will be the first in a series of co-curated displays.

Karen added: “The ‘Pandemics Past and Present’ community display at Ulster Museum draws together photography, poetry, personal items and objects from the collection to look at how people responded to these crises.

“The group are incredibly creative and have all brought their own unique skills and insights to this project, which has also provided a focus and much needed companionship during what has been a difficult time for everyone.”

Ulster Museum has now reopened. Admission to the museum, the ‘Pandemics Past and Present’ community display and the Troubles and Beyond exhibition is free and visitors are asked to pre-book time slots online to visit.

Curating Conflict: The Troubles and Beyond, can be purchased for £10 from Ulster Museum’s gift shop or through the Picture Library by emailing [email protected]