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Peace Barriers Programme

Women, Words & Walls: Short Film

Posted 17th January 2023

During the Covid pandemic, the Peace Barriers team were forced to adapt quickly to ensure that our work could continue. Facilitating regular zoom meetings chaired by a skilled facilitator, Anne McMaster, we were able to continue conversations with residents to maintain cross-community relationships. The  ‘difficult but meaningful conversations’ on the past were extremely powerful. By the end of the project, the bonds between the residents were strong. They laughed, cried and supported one another. Commonalities and differences were uncovered. These beautiful and powerful conversations led to the development of the short film above entitled ‘Women, Words and Walls’. It uses the women’s stories and quotes about living through the Troubles with voice-over from actors to maintain anonymity. It was officially launched at the Gasyard Center in January 2022. See the IFI publication pertaining to the launch at the link below.

International Fund for Ireland. (2022). 'Women’s experience living near interfaces documented in new video', 20th January.

IFI Chairman Paddy Harte with PBP workers and a couple of the 'Women Words & Walls' participants at the launch of the video at the Gasyard Center in January 2022.

Physical Change 
Achievements to Date

(Click poster to zoom)

Examples of Past Activities

(Click poster to zoom)

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By Kyra Reynolds PBP, full article originally published on the Stitched Voices Blog, 21st May 2021. Click here to read the full blog article.

When Roberta Bacic of Conflict Textiles asked me to create a textile doll during the first lockdown, I didn’t realise what a powerful journey I had embarked upon. I had seen the ‘Embracing Human Rights: Conflict Textiles’ Journey’ exhibition at Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady advertised online, which consisted of textile works depicting human rights abuses all over the world in regions of conflict. Most intriguing was that the pieces were created by the victims from those countries. I work for the Bogside and Brandywell Initiative in Derry as an International Fund for Ireland-funded Peace Barriers Programme Worker. Our aim is to improve cross-community relations and trust to a point where physical segregation barriers can be removed in the Bishop Street-Fountain area. At the time, I was trying to find something different from the routine activities we do with our residents: fun days, trips – (you know, the usual stuff). I arranged for my group of women to attend an arpillera-making workshop with Roberta. I thought that it would be nice for them to create a piece that showed the peacebuilding journey they have been on with each other for a number of years. Lockdown quashed those plans. But Roberta had another idea. She posted the instructions online for people to make textile dolls relating to the exhibition piece that resonated with them most (the entire exhibition had been put online in response to Covid). Struggling to find anything that I could do with my group that wasn’t face-to-face, I decided, ‘that’s what we’ll do, we’ll make dolls!’ 

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