Troubled Images World Tour Exhibit
The New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources is honored to present the Troubled Images: Posters and Images of the Northern Ireland Conflict exhibit from the Linen Hall Library in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Linen Hall Library is the unique repository for the Northern Ireland Political Collection, which contains over a quarter of a million items - books, documents, cards, pamphlets, photographs and other printed materials - related to the activities of all parties to the thirty-year conflict and the ongoing peace process.
New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources' Commissioner Van McLeod says, "bringing the Troubled Images exhibition to New Hampshire is an important part of our on-going cultural exchange with Northern Ireland and Ireland, and a way to share this extraordinary exhibit with the people of New Hampshire.
The seventy posters on view are part of the collection of over 3,000 acquired by the Linen Hall Library from 1969 to the present. They represent a wide range of opinions on major events and individuals involved in the arduous years of struggle and the burgeoning peace process, in which Senator George Mitchell played a significant role as chairman of the peace talks that brought about the Good Friday Agreement.
Linen Hall Librarian, John Gray, sums up the appeal of the exhibition by saying, "The 70 original posters on display reveal the often dramatic graphic skills of Ulster's political poster designers from whatever perspective - the makers of images that became part of history. The posters not only reflect all sides in our conflict, but they cover our experience since the beginning of "the Troubles". Movements that have faded from view are there along with all the main players today. The great tragedies of our time feature alongside moments of hope. They are all there in impossible but revealing conjunction."
Imagine a wall plastered with the posters of all the parties to the Northern Ireland conflict during the three decades of "the Troubles". It is of course inconceivable in a divided world of one-sided walls where parties tend to mark their own terrain. Except, that is, in Belfast's historic Linen Hall Library, where the Troubled Images exhibition created new space for all sides of the community in October 2001.
The Troubled Images has embarked on a major coast-to-coast tour of North America. The exhibition will take in nine cities across the United States and Canada, over a period of 18 months. The tour began in Boston and then to Washington D.C., before coming to New Hampshire. It will then travel to New York, Denver, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Montreal/Quebec. Venues include Boston College, the Meridian International Centre in Washington D.C., and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University, California.
Yvonne Murphy, Librarian of the Northern Ireland Political Collection and Troubled Images Tour Director, says of the interest in Troubled Images, "When we launched the Troubled Images exhibition in Belfast just over a year ago, we had little idea of the impact that it would make. We are thrilled at the interest that it has generated from right round the world. The exhibition has already been to the National Library of Ireland in Dublin and to a major arts and cultural festival in the Basque region of Spain. After its North American tour, the exhibition will go to South Africa, Paris and London."
The Troubled Images Project, which includes the exhibition, catalogue and CD-Rom, won for the Linen Hall Library the prestigious Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize for 2003. The prize is awarded once a year to individuals and/or organizations that promote peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a greater understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland, or closer co-operation between partners of the European Community.
Troubled Images will be on exhibit from July 18 to August 22, 2003, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the New Hampshire State Library, 20 Park Street in Concord. For more information, please call the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources at (603) 271-2540.