Co-operation Ireland’s Entwined Histories 6 Showcase & Celebration
The Brian Friel theatre QFT, was abuzz with excitement on Thursday 5 November as 80 young people celebrated the latest installment of Co-operation Ireland’s Entwined Histories project series – EH6, The Home Front. The young people presented the dramas they have spent the past weeks working on, to their teachers, parents and special guests.
With a focus on the ‘Home Front’ during the year 1915, the young people pupils from Ashfield Girls’ High School, The Wallace High School, St Patrick’s College Bearnageeha and Lagan College jointly learnt about that period in history and the impact it has on today’s society. They looked at how the Great War affected the lives of women, children and those in the ‘reserved occupations’, as well as those left physically and psychologically damaged. They also considered the long-term impact of the War on Irish society and politics.
Throughout the programme, the students participated in a series of educational workshops, field visits and a very busy residential, leading up to the finale event where the groups acted out their representations of scenes from 1915, including the Schoolhouse, the Shipyard, the Hospital and the Munitions Factory. Each of the participants played a role, both on and off stage, in bringing the production to fruition.
Co-operation Ireland’s Entwined Histories programme gives young people an opportunity to learn more about and explore the significance of history, illustrate how culture and tradition is entwined and show the impact of the past on people’s lives today. The cross-community element enables the young people to get to know and make friends with their peers who perhaps have a different understanding of these periods in history. Crucially, it is not about saying that there is only one correct way to interpret history, but about showing that multiple interpretations of our shared history can peacefully co-exist, and that new relationships can be built through exploring this past together.
Throughout the project, experts from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum’s Hidden Histories tour, the Nerve Centre as well as dramatic-art trained facilitators worked with the students to bring to life this period of our history. This enabled Co-operation Ireland to provide a dynamic learning environment for all the participants.
Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland said:
“We were particularly excited in 2014 to begin a partnership with the Queen’s University School of Creative Arts Drama Department – the student facilitators who have mentored our groups throughout the past 2 Entwined Histories projects have brought a fresh dimension and creative energy to our facilitation team. We were delighted that the Entwined Histories 5, The Great War project provided the case study for the Applied Drama module last semester, supported by Brenda Winter-Palmer and the Living Legacies Research Centre. Collaboration and working in partnership are at the heart of our work and we look forward to a long lasting relationship.”