Categories
Engagement Centres Research

World War One events this June in Belfast

A number of events this June in Belfast will be encouraging the public to engage with their local WW1 history. The events are part of the nationwide Connected Communities Festival.

West Belfast WW1 Soldiers – Living Legacies Centre a digital walking tour

belfast boysThe walking tour will take place in and around the Falls Road, West Belfast, an area rich in contested cultural heritage and with strong community interest in WW1. This venue has been chosen given its immediate proximity to the areas of interest on the walking tour. The tour is built around original data gathered by Prof. Richard Grayson on the origins of the local men that served in the FWW.
This event is open to the public and is a cross-community event, we are hoping to encourage members of the Nationalist Community to participate and engage with their WW1 heritage.
20th June 2015, An Chulturlann, West Belfast, BT12 6AH

Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich website – Cultúrlann produces a vibrant Arts Programme that promotes Irish language and culture while creating an attractive meeting place for tourists and locals alike.
A review of Professor Richard Grayson’s book “Belfast Boys” can be found here.
More information on the Living Legacies project can be found on the website
The event will be using #GIStourFallsRoad

 

ulstermuseumNational Museum Northern Ireland – First World War tour and workshop at the Ulster Museum

This venue has been chosen given its unique collection of WW1 materials, staff expertise and knowledge. In addition NMNI is a partner of the Living Legacies Engagement Centre. The event will feature a guided tour of the Home Rule to Partition section of the Modern History Gallery and will cover events from 1912-1922. There will then be a break for refreshments and this will be followed by an interactive handling workshop involving FWW artefacts. The main benefit to the attendee is an improved understanding of the past, including a broader knowledge of the nuances and complexities of the war.

23rd June 2015, Ulster Museum, South Belfast, BT9 5AB

More information on the National Museums of Northern Ireland can be found on their website.
More information on the Reminiscence Network Northern Ireland can be found on their website.
More information on the Living Legacies project can be found on the website
The event will be using #UlsterMuseumTour
2013-10-14-insigniaArts for All – Mural exploring the years 1914-1918

This event involves both the launch of a new FWW mural and a piece of interactive drama/performance from ‘Medal in the Draw’ by Dr. Brenda Winter-Palmer – LL, QUB. The event will take place in Tigers Bay, North Belfast on the 25th June, provisionally held. Tiger’s Bay is traditionally a strongly loyalist area of Belfast with a high degree of deprivation and strong community interest. The mural reflects a range of perspectives on the war, including women’s role on the Home Front, shipyard strikes and soldiers employed to make crosses to mark the graves of the men who died. The plays script is used as a stimulus for the audience’s questions and the actors then engage with the audience in character. The venue was dictated by the mural location, which is of itself the product of one year’s community research. The event is open to the public and is a cross-community event. The event will be publicised through all partners (see links).

25th June 2015, Tigers Bay, North Belfast

More information on the Living Legacies project can be found on the website
More information on arts for all can be found on their website.
More information on ‘The Medal in the Drawer’ can be found here.
The event will be using #WW1TigersBay

Image Copyright © 2013 Extramural Activity

Categories
Research

Noise and Silence

Dr James Mansell from the University of Nottingham considers noise and silence, and introduces his work to inform a future exhibition looking at this phenomenon. 

We remember the tragedy of the First World War by observing a two minute silence. Today, we recognize this as a mark of reverence and respect. In the 1920s, however, enacting silence on Armistice Day was interpreted more literally as a sonic response to the noise of the war. The deafening and nerve-wracking sounds of mechanized warfare produced a new age of sonic sensitivity after 1918. It was feared that shell shock, or versions of it, might be replicated in ordinary people on noisy city streets. The rumble of industry and motor traffic was celebrated by some, but treated as a pathogen of the utmost severity by many more. Just as the battlefields of the war had been enveloped by noise, so too, it was feared, would towns and cities become cauldrons of auditory torture.

It was in this context that the Science Museum in South Kensington hosted a Noise Abatement Exhibition in 1935 promoted by the newly-formed Anti-Noise League. Among the exhibits were two replica homes, one built using standard fittings, the other kitted out with the latest ‘soundproofed’ designs. Visitors were encouraged to buy ‘soundproofed’ typewriters, for example. The exhibition’s main purpose, though, was to convince the public and lawmakers alike that noise was a danger to individual and social wellbeing (see, for example, the thermometer installation, measuring different severities of noise, in the image below). Even those who didn’t notice noise, it was claimed, were being subjected to its unceasing vibrations. Leading doctors claimed that hearing unrhythmical noise upset the natural rhythms of the body. Writer H. G. Wells opened the Exhibition, arguing that ‘Just as people were able to detach themselves from each other visually, so they ought to be able to achieve auditory isolation.’ And yet, as we know, silence is among the scarcest of resources in the modern world. The Anti-Noise League failed to hold back the tide of noise.

A large sign requesting 'Quiet for the Wounded' hangs outside Charing Cross Hospital at Agar Street, London, in September 1914. Heavy traffic has been diverted to minimise noise in the street.
A large sign requesting ‘Quiet for the Wounded’ hangs outside Charing Cross Hospital at Agar Street, London, in September 1914. Heavy traffic has been diverted to minimise noise in the street.

Eighty years on, the Science Museum is once again turning its attention to sound. This time the aim is not so much to confront the problem of noise (others are doing this), but rather to understand the historical and cultural connections between noise and other sonic categories, particularly silence and music, in industrialised societies. The AHRC-funded project ‘Music, Noise and Silence’ run jointly by the Science Museum, the University of Nottingham and the Royal College of Music, aims to collect ideas and narratives for a future Science Museum exhibition on sound. Three workshops are being convened in 2015 bringing together academic researchers, museum professionals, performers, acousticians and others, to sketch out ideas for this future exhibition through talks, performances and debates. The network’s first meeting, exploring connections between music and silence, took place 25-26 February 2015 at the Science Museum and the Royal College of Music. It included a trip to an anechoic chamber (a perfectly silent room) and performances of works by composers interested in silence as a creative medium as well as academic talks.

The second workshop took place at the University of Nottingham, 26-27 March 2015. Focussing on the relationship between noise and silence, the workshop had a number of events open to all. Sound art group Audialsense unveiled a specially-created sound installation in the tunnel between Portland and Trent buildings.

Image Credits:

No Needless Noise: Logotype of the Anti-Noise League, pressure group behind the 1935 exhibition. Credit: Science Museum. B990168|10317890.

‘Quiet for the wounded’ © IWM (Q 53311)