The English in Northern Ireland
Curated by Factotum - 9 December to 27 January 2006
08 December, 7 to 9pm. All Welcome
The English have played a major part in the modern history of Northern Ireland, from involvement in the army, to academics and scientists, or ordinary people who have relocated for familial reasons. Their English identity has not been discussed since, as elsewhere in the UK, Englishness has been conflated with Britishness. This has meant that the English in Northern Ireland have either been invisible or depicted in cliched terms.
This show will introduce a variety of views of the English that have not been seen before because they were not considered of interest or because they were made for private use. The exhibition will include pictures made by the army for their own internal use; including soldiers doing amateur theatricals, on sports days, being visited by regimental glamour girls, or in their own rooms having time off. These photographs are held in the Imperial War Museum archives and have not been exhibited before. Some English people are familiar from the worlds of entertainment and sport. These celebrities will be represented by photojournalistic reportage of their visits to Northern Ireland and the reception they received. The show will also include informal pictures taken by English people to show to friends or to put in family albums. Finally the English have continued to play an important part in the governance of Northern Ireland. This will be represented by the formal portraits of Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland and press pictures of official visits.
The English presence in Northern Ireland continues today. This will be included in the exhibition with a newly commissioned series of portraits of Northern Ireland resident English people by English photographer Justin Partyka. The exhibition will be accompanied by a dedicated English issue of The Vacuum free monthly newspaper, which will include interviews with, and articles about the English in Northern Ireland.
Images courtesy of the Imperial War Museum