19th Mar 2014 5:00pm-7:00pm
Divided memories and places: oral history and conflict resolution in Belfast
Claire Hackett, Falls Community Council
The presentation draws on the interviews in Falls Community Council’s oral history archive to explore memories of the outbreak of the conflict in Belfast in 1969 and the enforced movements of population that occurred in that period. The connections between the official accounts of the period and the oral history narratives are explored. The gaps in these histories and the unresolved issues are also examined in the context of the current debates on truth recovery and dealing with the past. The presentation also considers the relationship between grassroots oral history and conflict resolution and examines the impact of current work that is building relationships between different communities and engaging with this history of division and conflict.
Claire Hackett was centrally involved in setting up the Falls Community Council’s oral history archive, Dúchas in 2000, about the experience of the conflict in West Belfast and has published material about this work. Over 200 interviews have been recorded which can be accessed at the onsite digital archive in Falls Community Council.
In recent years Claire has developed conflict resolution work through oral history. She is currently the project manager of the Pieces of the Past partnership oral history project in which six community organisations from nationalist and unionist working class communities across Belfast are working together with the Dúchas archive to record interviews and organise shared public discussions on history and memory.
Claire is an active Board member of Healing Through Remembering, a leading policy development NGO with a politically diverse membership focused on ways of dealing with the past relating to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. Within HTR she has worked to build agreement from very different constituencies about policy positions on truth recovery, acknowledgement, storytelling, commemoration, day of reflection and living memorial museum.
Claire is also actively involved in Hanna’s House, an organisation working to foster a feminist community in Ireland and currently engaged in a national peace building project to develop women’s agency in the transition and within truth recovery. In recent years Claire has chaired the alliance of groups representing victims of state violence to build the campaign for a truth recovery process. She has organised and facilitated many public and private debates about dealing with the legacy of the conflict.