In the songs of many soldiers from the First World War, it may have been a long way to Tipperary but there is still a long way to go to a common, better understanding of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme so that they can become part of a narrative for a better, shared and diverse future.
That’s a theme of a large-scale conference organised by the Community Relations Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Nerve Centre, titled ‘It’s a long way to Dublin and the Somme: recovering forgotten histories, building the future’.
Taking place at the iconic Titanic Belfast on March 5, the Creative Centenaries Resources Fair is being organised to encourage participation and reflection ahead of 2016 and the 100-year anniversaries of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme.
Peter Osborne, Chair of the Community Relations Council, said, “The events of 100 years ago helped shape our present. As we remember the Somme and the Easter Rising in 2016, we should be mindful of how we continue to shape their legacies. As we further improve how our shared past is commemorated, and in doing so better understand the present, we take another step together toward a more inclusive future. The Resources Fair offers a great opportunity to learn about projects already underway. It will also help to shape our approach to the next hundred years, towards even better collective commemoration.”
Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Northern Ireland, said “The Creative Centenaries Resources Fair presents an exciting opportunity for people to engage with, and find out more about, the extensive range of projects and resources linked to the Decade of Anniversaries that have been supported by HLF and other funders. Groups and individuals who wish to contribute to the challenging and creative conversations taking place about marking centenaries will have the opportunity to talk to funders and collaborators on the day.”
David Lewis, Director of Communications with Nerve Centre, said
“Creative Centenaries aims to shine a light on the work of the creative and cultural sector in commemorating the events of 100 years ago and the Resources Fair is a chance to see some of the engaging and thought-provoking work being produced across Ireland. People will also have the chance to see some of the cutting edge education resources being produced by the Creative Centenaries project including our award winning animations and 1916 inspired comic books.”
Some of the organisations confirmed to showcase their work include award winning digital website Century Ireland, Somme Centre’s Women’s Exhibition and artifacts, Co-operation Ireland’s Entwined Histories project, Connaught Rangers Research Group, War Years Remembered featuring original artifacts and a replica warhorse, History Ireland and Dublin Historical Walking Tours, Causeway and Mid-Antrim Museum Service’s exhibition Over the Hawthorne Hedge and Coleraine 2014, Queen’s University’s Living Legacies project, the Ulster Museum with original artifacts, Libraries NI and many others. Others, such as Heritage Lottery Fund and Community Relations Council, will offer advice on accessing funding for relevant projects.
The Creative Centenaries Resources Fair will also include project presentations and introduce participants to online and digital resources designed for youth and community learning. The Fair will support networking and new partnership opportunities for those planning their own commemoration events.
Workshops delivered by academic, practitioners and arts professionals throughout the day will help attendees to look at the specific themes of ‘What is Commemoration?’, ‘Ethical and Shared Remembering’ and ‘Creative Responses’. The Fair will end with a specially crafted creative response.
The Creative Centenaries Resources Fair is aimed at a wide audience range including community and heritage groups, councils and good relations officers, arts and community organisations and others planning events across Ireland in the coming years.
Registration for the event is free and is now open. Visit www.creativecentenaries.org for more information and to sign-up now.