Exciting work handling history

The Féile History team:David Hardy, Anthony Anderson and Elaine Reid of the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at QUB, with Michael Pierse and Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh of the QUB School of Modern Languages and Deirdre Mackel, Féile The Féile History team:David Hardy, Anthony Anderson and Elaine Reid of the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at QUB, with Michael Pierse and Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh of the QUB School of Modern Languages and Deirdre Mackel, Féile
By Ciara Quinn

St Mary’s University College played host for the first Féile History Day as researchers and staff put out the call to “co-create” the festival’s history to date.

The initiative, a joint collaboration between Féile staff and Queen’s University, aims to develop the history of the West Belfast festival from its inception back in 1988, with the goal to produce an interactive exhibition, book and online archive. Research Fellow Dr Michael Pierse said the team are experiencing a “groundswell of interest” around the project, which will ultimately tell the community’s story.

“We are putting out the call for everything Féile related with regards to this project, photos, leaflets, programmes, a binlid from the Binlids play, a hurley from the Poc Fada, costumes from the Féile parade, original painting from an exhibition or snippets from video or audio recordings are all welcome,” he said.

“2015 maps the 27th year of the history of Féile and the community are front and centre when it comes to narrating that story.

“Féile isn’t just another festival, it’s deeply embedded in the community, it’s the most dynamic community festival on these islands.

“What we are trying to achieve is a participating project with the communities help. We aren’t allowing the story, the history of the Féile to be told from above so to speak, we want to hear the stories behind any memorabilia the community might have. As we start the archive we are looking and considering a documentary as well on Féile history.”

Researcher on the project Feargal Mac Ionnractaigh will also be working on the project.

“We are three years away from Féile turning 30 so now is as good a time as any to really start to gather as much historical items as we can. We are really looking forward to seeing what people will contact us with.”

If anyone has any Féile related memorabilia or documents they wish to add to the archive contact Dr Michael Pierse m.pierse@qub.ac.uk

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