The Prisons Memory Archive

Prisons Memory Archive – contains sample recordings in different formats of those who passed through the prisons of Armagh Gaol and the Maze and Long Kesh during the conflict known as the Troubles.

With the North of Ireland emerging out of violence, there is a general, but not yet officially recognized, consensus that storytelling can be one of the ways of addressing the legacy of the conflict in the present. The Northern Ireland Victims Commissioner’s We Will Remember Them (1998), The Report of the Consultative Group on the Past (2009), the Hass O’Sullivan Report (2014), and the Stormont House Agreement (2014), all established by government, called for storytelling as part of a range of recommendations that included prosecutions and truth recovery. None of these recommendations have been implemented. Filling this gap, there are up to 50 initiatives that have been produced by community and academic groups as part of the attempt to address a conflicted past in a contested present. The Prisons Memory Archive, of which I am the director, is one of these. It was funded primarily by the National Heritage Lottery Fund with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) as our partner. The full archive of 300 hours audio visual material is accessible at PRONI, while an educational focused website is available online.
During the Troubles, the prisons were seen as iconic – as touchstone and tinderbox – influencing outside politics and outside politics influencing what happened inside the prison walls. We considered that if we could tell the story of the prisons through documentary film, we could tell one of the most important stories from what become known as the Troubles.

It Stays With You

The It Stays With You site shows two feature documentary films on the use of militarized policing in two contexts – the UN Peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and military police raids in Brazil. The site offers context to the films production and dissemination, as well as providing full interviews with some of the contributors, and recordings of webinars where participants spoke, e.g. at the UN Human Rights Council side events in Geneva and the Bar Association of Brazil.