We Lived It: Exhibition
In a decade that saw Nelson Mandela freed and elected president of South Africa, the first Gulf War break out, Harry Potter exploding onto the bookshelves and the appearance of the Euro, Northern Ireland was wading through the fourth decade of its Troubles. Daily searches, bomb alerts and no-go areas - what was life like for those living in 90s Northern Ireland? From 2-30 August the Linen Hall Library will revisit these turbulent times with We Lived It, an exhibition and oral history project capturing the day-to-day reality of living in the midst of the conflict.
On display will be an array of social history items such as key rings, badges, and t-shirts branded with slogans and logos from the 90s. There is also a small section of the HM Prison Maze wall (drilled out to make room for a television set).
Troubles-themed artwork by important local artists Sean Hillen and F E McWilliam has been loaned to the Library by Newry and Mourne Museum and the F E McWilliam Gallery. This includes a piece from the well-known series Women of Belfast, created in response to the Abercorn bombing of 1972. The representations of frantic movement and frozen horror emanate from the bronze sculpture.
A revealing oral history archive has also been assembled capturing people from all walks of life in Northern Ireland relaying their memories of difficult – and sometimes even humorous – times navigating through this very abnormal situation. Visitors can listen via MP3 players incorporated into the exhibition.
We Lived It is part of the Divided Society project which is digitising large parts of the Linen Hall's Northern Ireland Political Collection concentrating on the decade from 1990–2000. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ulster Garden Villages and the Department of Foreign Affairs Peace and Reconciliation Fund.