Seeing is Believing
The exhibition presents a collection of photographs and commentary by several people about physical structures in NI that, if transformed, would signify positive change in relation to building a safe, shared and united society.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event has been cancelled.
Given the time and resources available to create the exhibition, it acts as a snapshot of views from across a range of people from different social, economic, cultural and ideological backgrounds. We hope to keep building upon the submissions so that it is fully representative of society. Therefore, attendees will be encouraged to consider what their image is. We are interested in showing the exhibition in local areas to capture the views of people who don’t often get the opportunity to engage in this type of activity – the unheard majority.
The following people were interviewed for the exhibition:
Alan McBride Works for the WAVE Trauma Centre. Considers himself an economic Unionist and a strong European. Alan was brought up in a loyalist housing estate and his father was a member of the UDA. His wife and her father were killed in the Shankill bombing, which led him into work with victims of the ‘Troubles’.
Anna Lo Anna came to Northern Ireland from Hong Kong in 1974 after meeting a Belfast born journalist. She served two terms in the Northern Ireland Assembly as an Alliance Party MLA and retired in 2016.
Colin Flinn Colin lived in Downpatrick for 50 years of his life. His parents lived lives dedicated to Community Relations and Good Relations and he strives to follow their example as his way of honouring their memory. Colin is a retired solicitor.
Dr. David Russell David was brought up during the ‘Troubles’ in a small strongly loyalist working class village where everyone knew each other. He was the first in his family to have the opportunity to attend university. David has been Chief Executive of the Norhern Ireland Human Rights Commission since 2017.
David Holloway David grew up in the Manse of Derrytrasna Presbyterian Church Lurgan. He studied at Queen’s University which influenced his dedication to community relations and anti-intolerance work and his vision of a future that embraces and cherishes us all equally despite our diversity.
Dympna McGlade Dympna was brought up in north Belfast in a family dedicated to social justice for all. Most of her working life was in community development/relations in areas of deprivation. She was the Policy Director with the Community Relations Council for 16 years until 2017.
Frank Gaffikin Frank grew up in ‘the Bone’ area, adjacent to Ardoyne, in north Belfast, a definitively working-class area. His father was a barman, and his mother a mill worker. The area experienced intensive violence in what were the early and worst years of the ‘Troubles’. This experience convinced Frank that violence left a needless toll of grief, that hurt those communities most in need.
Goretti Horgan grew up in Cork and, eventually, moved to Derry in 1986. She worked as a community worker and later a researcher with a number of children’s organisations before moving to the University. She has been a socialist feminist and a campaigner for social justice her entire adult life.
Jim O’Neill Part of Jim’s childhood was in north Belfast but his upbringing was mainly in the Bogside in Derry. His experiences of the ‘Troubles’ led to a career dedication to community development and peacebuilding work which has included work with The Junction, Towards Understanding and Healing and St. Columb’s Park House. Jim is currently the Programme Manager for Community Dialogue.
Dr. Katy Radford MBE Katy grew up in south Belfast and now live in north Belfast. She returned to study as a mature student and has served as commissioner for the Equality Commission; Vice Chair of the Arts Council; a member of the Commission for Flags Identity Culture and Tradition and Chair of the Race Equality Group. Katy worked for almost ten years as Project Manager and Senior Researcher with the Institute for Conflict Research and now works as Acting Head of Research and Policy at the Commission for Victims and Survivors Northern Ireland.
Maureen Hetherington Maureen was brought up in a Council estate in the Waterside of Derry/ Londonderry. Her involvement in sport gave her the opportunity to travel and meet and mix with people of different religious beliefs and laid the foundations for her interest and contribution to community relations and peace building.
Monica McWilliams Monica is an Emeritus professor in the Transitional Justice Institute in Ulster University. She is an influential activist at local level and internationally. Monica helped form the Women’s Coalition and was elected as an MLA. She served as Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and helped draft the advice on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland, She is a patron of WAVE; a board member of Politics in Action in Schools and involved with Women’s Aid.
Neil McCann Neil grew up in Dundalk and became involved in community work and local politics. He was Chair of the Town Council in 1994 when the ceasefires were begun and did whatever was possible in terms of support for reconciliation. He became involved in CND and other groups concerned with nuclear issues. Neil has lived in Belfast since 2017.
Nisha Tandon Nisha was brought up in New Delhi and moved to Belfast in 1977 at the height of the ‘Troubles’ via an arranged marriage. She has a drama and history degree. Nisha set up ArtsEkta to promote cultural diversity using the arts as a bridge between communities. She has received many awards including the UK Asian Women of Achievement Award; an OBE; the British Indian Award; the Chief Officers Third Sector Award.
Patricia O’Neill Patricia was born in Carrickfergus and comes from a Protestant background, her partner comes from a Catholic one which brought sectarianism to the front and centre of their lives. Patricia worked for the Community Relations Council for over 20 years and gained in-depth knowledge and understanding of sectarianism and other prejudices. She is dedicated to peace and reconciliation.
Youth Input Podcast about the interface barrier in Alexandra Park by young people from north Belfast in partnership with Youth Action NI.