“The very fragility of record in such societies makes memory all the more precious, its expressions both sadder and more triumphant. (Tom Shippey pg 97) Tom Shippy (2000) “J.R.R.Tolkien: Author Of The Century” HarperCollins
I want to understand the role that memory plays in both capturing previous moments of time and reacting to how those moments are curated, packaged and reconstituted within communities. My family were born and raised in Northern Ireland, a land that has come through a violent civil war. My family, unremarkable in many ways, were generationally involved in the civil war in different ways and with different outcomes - much like many other families of those decades.
Yet they are also remarkable because they hold memories of a time before, during and after The Troubles (local name for the civil war). They can affirm, correct and counter the fragile records that have become a part of the island nations draw to many from outside, and a tourist attraction that creates a lot of revenue but is selective in what it 'sells'.
Memory is fragile, but it can be retained through capturing it in recordings, in photographs and in video clips. This is what my project did for a particular family in Northern Ireland, and in so doing it was able to provide a broader narrative on the past, present and potential future of the country.
Some images from this documentary project that can be shared publicly