7th Dec 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm

Grand Parade

Filmmaking and the Ethical and Political Issues Involved in Recording Life Stories of Violent Conflict

Dr Cahal McLaughlin, University of Ulster

In recording memories from conflict, I operate several protocols to address the risks of both telling and hearing stories that are politically and psychicly sensitive, and also to ease access to these stories and the constituencies that they come from. The first is collaboration, where we agree co-ownership of the material, which allows participants to be authors of their own stories, an important part of any healing process for anyone who has undergone a traumatic experience. The second is inclusivity, so that we work with as full a range of experiences as possible. One way of gauging a society’s ability to move out of violence is to monitor its ability to listen to ‘other’ stories, the stories of those you have been ‘at war’ with. The presentation will include clips from the films Unheard Voices (2010) and Unseen Women: Armagh Stories (2011).

Cahal McLaughlin is a documentary filmmaker and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ulster. He has worked on community and broadcast programmes and recently published a monograph, Recording Memories from Political Violence: A Filmmaker’s Journey (Intellect: 2010). He is director of the Prisons Memory Archive, a unique collection of 175 filmed interviews inside the ‘Troubles’prisons in the North of Ireland, and is the Chair of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Media Practice.