Speeches, Strikes and Struggles: Curating Conflict
4 October - 23 December 2018
This exhibition presented rarely seen collections highlighting the significant events and cultural heritage of the Troubles from 1968 to the present day. It showcased material from three major collections held in the Tower Museum archives - the Bridget Bond collection, the Gerry Lynch collection and the newly acquired Peter Moloney Collection.
The first gallery in the exhibition showcased the struggle for civil rights in Northern Ireland from its roots in the late 1960s. This is presented through the life and work of Bridget Bond, a leading civil rights activist in Derry. Secretary of the Derry Housing Action Committee and a member of NICRA, Bridget campaigned tirelessly for housing for the people of Derry and for basic human and civil rights for everyone.
The exhibition showcased unique images from Larry Doherty, Trevor McBride, Eamon Melaugh, and Victor Patterson and never before seen footage of Duke Street, from Liam McCafferty, which combined to illustrate the desire for social change in 1968. Original documents from Bridget Bond’s collection were supported by material from the Gerry Lynch and Peter Moloney collections. Presented alongside archive material from the Linen Hall’s NICRA collection and the National Museums Northern Ireland, these documents illustrated key dates and activities from 1959 through to 1974.
The exhibition also offered visitors the first chance to view material from the Peter Moloney collection, which consists of 50,000 items charting the identity and culture of Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Murals, badges, posters, banners, T-shirts and ephemera combine in a striking visual interpretation that provides a unique insight into a divided society.
Reflecting on his collection, Peter Moloney commented: 'Some of my collection may upset people but we can’t rewrite history. My only wish is that people see it and learn from it.'
The exhibition is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.