Remembering the Dead: Northern Ireland

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"O Absalom! Central to our act of faithful memory is the naming of the dead. John Barber's Remembering the Dead: Northern Ireland recites the full list from the Time of Troubles. Each name is then recorded on the screen, making a carpet of permanence in the darkness. A powerful and stunning piece."
M. D. Coverley (author of Califia and Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day)

Remembering the Dead: Northern Ireland remembers and recalls the nearly 3,600 men, women, and children killed during the Troubles, a violent political conflict focused on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland, late 1960s-early 2000s. The conflict was focused primarily in Northern Ireland, but spilled over into parts of the Republic of Ireland, England, and Europe. This work was inspired by a vist to Derry, Northern Ireland, in September 2016. While there I walked the Bogside area where, on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972, twenty six unarmed people were shot by British military troops during a civil rights march. Many were shot while fleeing the soldiers or trying to help the wounded. Fourteen died. Bloody Sunday was significant not only as the single largest shooting incident during the Troubles, but because these civilian citizens where shot in full view of the public and press by state forces. The house gable end with "You are now entering Free Derry" painted upon it, the commemorative murals painted on other building walls, and the monument at the site of the killings are powerful reminders of the struggles there. The Museum of Free Derry focuses on the civil rights struggle and events, including Bloody Sunday, in Derry during the 1970s.

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James O'Sullivan