Peacelines Belfast • 2008-2009

 

Locative sound instalation presented at the 2008 ICMC in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The work began with a three week period spent recording soundscapes on either side of one of the oldest sections of the “Peaceline” – towering concrete walls separating the neighboring Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic Falls Road communities in West Belfast.

The sounds of daily life in each of the communities were documented along with interviews with the residents.

These sounds were then edited and re-mapped onto the space of a green in central Belfast. Listeners wearing headphones and carrying a GPS audio device were able to move through the soundscapes of each of the neighborhoods in a space undivided by the wall.

On the dividing line where the wall would have stood, the listeners heard exerpts of an interview I recorded with Father Mark Donnely, a peace activist who has been working with both communities for twenty-five years to seek a means of reconciling the deep divisions incurred in the forty years of what has come to be known simply as The Troubles.

The work was experienced by members of both communities, many of whom were coming into contact with the spaces on the other side of the wall for the first time.

‘Peacelines’ aimed to create a space for listening. For reflection. A space for each side to hear the voices of the other, to hear the life of the streets that are so similar, yet remain unseen, unheard.

.