Corrymeela News


Belfast and the World 1918–21

03 Oct 2018

batwOn Wednesday 3 October, Corrymeela launched a new and exciting community engagement programme across Belfast that focuses on marking the ‘decade of anniversaries’.  The programme, ‘Belfast and the World 1918–1921’ is being delivered on behalf of Belfast City Council as part of their PEACE IV Plan, which is funded by the European Union and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Belfast and the World (BATW) will look at events from 1918–21 that significantly impacted on Belfast, the island of Ireland and across the world. Running over a period of four years (2018–2021), the programme will look at historical events 100 years before, and explore their meaning(s) and significance then and now for those living in Belfast today.

The programme is for adults who reside in Belfast, with a particular focus on those from more marginalised areas. All groups will be cross community in nature and participants must commit to a minimum of 33 hours of engagement with the programme.

The programme has a primary focus on marking the centenaries across the 1918 –1921 period, however we will also explore the previous anniversaries from 1912–1917. The programme seeks to remember the past in a shared and ethical way, supporting participants to learn about the cultural diversity of Belfast and how our understandings of the past influence the present. We will remember the decade as a whole, as the events are inter–related. We will also look at world events that were happening in the same time period.

The programme lasts 33 hours and will be delivered through workshops, lectures and site visits, including tours of Belfast and Dublin.

Participating groups will also have the chance to design a Civic Led Event, which will be open to the wider public. This could be based on a theme or issues that was interesting to the group and that they want to share with a wider audience.

Councillor John Kyle, Chair of the Shared City Partnership in Belfast City Council said: “This exciting new programme provides a fantastic opportunity for people from Belfast to find out more about this really interesting decade from 1912 – 1922 – this was a decade which was a real game changer for women in society and also changed the political landscape across Ireland.”

Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB said: “Unfortunately due to the history of division in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland, many parts of our society have not yet been able to develop the ability to deal with difference and diversity. This project will enable people from different backgrounds to come together, side–by–side, and learn about their shared history.

“In doing so they will gain a greater understanding of the past along with a deeper appreciation of the views of people from another culture or tradition. This is one of the core objectives of the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, which has been designed to promote purposeful and sustained contact between people from different communities.”

The themes the programme will explore include:

·       Commemoration and today

·       Overview of the Decade 1912 – 1922

·       Belfast and the Decade (Site Tours)

·       Culture and Sport in the Decade

·       The Role of Women

·       WW1, Ireland and the World

·       Labour Must Wait

·       Dublin and the Decade (Site Tours)

·       Voting and the General Election 1918

·       To partition and beyond

The programme will engage with 50 people per year (200 in total via 2 cohorts of 25 people). Each cohort will be run separately, with some joint workshops and lectures. There will be opportunities for both individuals and community groups to be involved. If you would like to be involved, use the contact details below.  The specific venues will depend on where participating groups are based.

At the launch on 3rd October, the Rev Doc Johnston McMaster delivered a key–note lecture on The Challenges of Ethical Remembering.

The launch was held at the Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts from 6–8pm.

Match–funding for this project has been provided by The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland. For more information contact Whelma Villar–Kennedy, Corrymeela Head of Programme via email or telephone 028 2076 1728.