When Silence Falls: Exploring bodily and literary memory in the Waterford Laundry

Saturday, October 22, 2016 

All images © Waterford Memories Project
with thanks to John Loftus Creative
This event was funded by the Irish Research Council

Video recording of professional talks

This project had three core objectives, which aimed to:

1. Examine how practice-based research may contribute to the understanding of commemoration, collective memory, and its place in contemporary Ireland.

2. Make the data and documentation of performances available to scholars and members of the public (as part of The Waterford Memories Project virtual museum), allowing for further multidisciplinary research and analysis on this data.

3. Open the site of a former Laundry to the public to facilitate engagement with an overlooked aspect of Waterford’s history within its original, architectural context.

This project contributes to a broader need to document our cultural heritage, providing a voice to those held in the Magdalene institutions, while locating these stories in a broader local and national narrative.  Access to the Laundries’ records has been heavily restricted; in response, the very invisibility of the survivors is being tackled by this project, which aims to engage the public with activists and academics as we consider how we should remember these institutions.  The event will be captured via photo and video recordings, which will be disseminated on the Waterford Memories Project site; it is hoped this will both continue the public debate and engagement started with the event, and form the basis for multidisciplinary academic analysis between performance, art, digital humanities, and related fields.