Everyday conflict items on display

Published Monday, 06 August 2012
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A CS gas canister, a policeman's armoured clipboard and a book of Loyalist poetry are some of the historic items on display in west Belfast as part of an exhibition collecting keepsakes from the Northern Ireland conflict.

Everyday conflict items on display
A prison comm and a decorated hanky which are part of the conflict exhibition. (© HTC)

The display called 'Everyday Objects Transformed by the Conflict' includes more than 50 artefacts and comes to Belfast after being held in Derry, and counties Antrim, Monaghan and Co Tyrone.

A CS gas canister fired by the RUC during the Battle of the Bogside in 1969 was turned into a working lamp, a clipboard carried by police at vehicle checkpoints in 'high-risk' areas was armour plated to give protection to officers under threat of attack, and a tape recording of live transmissions from a pirate radio station are all being exhibited.

The collection is now being jointly hosted at venues in the Falls and Shankill by the cross-community organisation Healing Through Remembering with a specially developed walking trail linking the two.

The exhibition is open to the public at the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road until Friday and St Mary's University on the Falls Road until Saturday.

Healing Through Remembering's director Kate Turner said: "So many everyday items assumed a new significance during the conflict - like a bin lid used for communication. And so many unusual things became everyday - like people and bags being searched before entering a shop.

"These objects offer a glimpse into the everyday lives and memories of individuals, communities and organisations, and so hopefully will help people explore the nature, causes and effect of conflict.

"We are very grateful to collectors who have lent us a substantial number of items for the exhibition."

Gerry Burns, who is a committee member of one of the funders' the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: "This is a wonderful project, not just for the fascinating collection of items that it has unearthed, but because it has sparked an interest and debate among so many people about how we interpret our heritage.

"This wider involvement has produced an absorbing exhibition for others to explore and learn from."

© UTV News
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