Fermanagh Museum Gives Voice To Life In The Border Counties

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 31 October 2007
photo of a fence with wreaths on it with a lake and hills in the background

Warrenpoint on the border. © Borderlines

A touring exhibition is examining the life of people living in the border counties of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Called Borderlines, it is currently running at Fermanagh County Museum until November 23, and then continues touring to venues on both sides of the border.

Along with a display of photos an archive and book have been produced, giving voice to people with experience of life along the border. It includes contributions from Fermanagh, Tyrone, Cavan, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo, Donegal, Derry/Londonderry, Armagh, Down and Louth.

photo of lots of boys in green and white striped football shirts stood behind a glass and wire partition

Celtic Fans in Derry/Londonderry. © Borderlines

It forms a significant collection of recordings and images recording the voices of 100 people who give their own unique views of experiences connected to the border, from ‘everyday’ events like getting your children to school through roadblocks, telling lies about your job, or having to leave your land.

“This is a very special project exploring the difficult history of the border area,” said Sarah McHugh, Manager of Museum Services.

“The research has been handled carefully sensitively and carefully, and the resulting archive, exhibition and book give a powerful insight into people’s different perspectives. It will be obvious to anyone who visits this exhibition that many individuals have spoken out for the first time about their lives and experiences.”

photo of two soldiers in camoflague gear walking down a straight road bordered by fields

British soldiers on the border. © Borderlines

“Fermanagh County Museum, with support from the Community Relations Unit, is one of several institutions contributing to the archive, enabling it to happen,” added Sarah. “The aim is to build the collection for the future.”

Borderlines forms part of a wider project examining how the events connected with the Troubles should be appropriately remembered.

Along with the exhibition, a Borderlines seminar is taking place on November 16, looking at how the past is remembered and the sensitive nature of gathering stories and memories from people living in border areas during the last 30 years.

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