Struggling with Memory: Oral History and Reconciliation in Belfast Communities
This article documents the processes and challenges involved in gathering oral history narratives in the context of contested memories and experiences of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The work of the Dúchas oral history archive is outlined and in particular its outreach to divided communities in Belfast to gather and record personal experiences of the conflict. The connection between oral history and reconciliation is discussed as a process of building relationships across contested memories. The limitations of the work in achieving a shared narrative is also discussed. Testimony from the archive is analysed to illustrate the value of oral history in revealing the dynamics of division and connection during the conflict.
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