Una Duffy (Heritage Lottery Fud)
Una explained the HLF’s role in funding community based oral history projects and welcomed the arrival of QUOTE as a resource through which to enable the development of ambitious projects in the future. We are sure that Una drummed up a lot of follow up requests for information from many of the community group representatives who attended the launch.
Kate Turner (Healing Through Remembering)
Kate outlined the role of Healing Through Remembering in facilitating the role of story telling in the process of dealing with Northern Ireland’s conflicted past. HTR oversees the Story Telling Network, whose members include Duchas, RUC George Cross Foundation Oral History Project, Mixed Emotions (NIMMA), Glórtha Aduaidh, Prison Memory Archive, WAVE Trauma Centre, Recovery of Living Memory Archive (PFC), Upstanding (Corrymeela) and Peace Process Layers of Meaning. Kate also welcomed QUOTE’s formation and looked forward to working in partnership with it.
Anna Bryson and Sean O’Connell (QUOTE)
Anna and Sean explained the origins of QUOTE, introduced its members, and their work, and encouraged all those in the packed room to engage and shape QUOTE’s activities as it develops. QUOTE is a broad church. Its members include those whose main focus lies in issues around story telling’s role in post conflict societies. In this regard, QUOTE has a potentially significant role to play in debates around the Oral History Archive that was proposed as part of the Stormont House Agreement. Any such project will require carefully constructed ethically robust and methodologically sound practices and the QUOTE collective is well placed to offer input on these matters. The team has further ambitions also. These include unearthing what we call the hidden troubles or Northern Ireland’s troubles with a lower case t. The understandable focus on sectarian conflict and its aftermath has masked other significant areas of historical experience, which oral historians should explore. These include, for example, the experience of de-industrialisation and urban redevelopment in Northern Ireland. QUOTE is working with a variety of community groups to further this aim. In doing so, it will also create partnerships between our students and those communities to the mutual benefit of both. Outcomes of these collaborations will involve internships, community history publications, verbatim drama, museum exhibitions and radio documentaries.