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Story of women affected by war told in art project

Israeli, Palestinian and Northern Irish peace activists took part in the project.

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Farah Elle (Niall Carson/PA)

Farah Elle (Niall Carson/PA)

Farah Elle (Niall Carson/PA)

The story of women and girls on the island of Ireland whose lives have been affected by conflict is being told in a poignant new art project.

Herstory’s new Parallel Peace Project sees Israeli, Palestinian and Northern Irish peace activists take part in the project which launches on Friday.

Students from Terra Sancta High School of Jerusalem and Hazelwood Integrated College, Belfast participated in a school workshop, sharing their experiences of conflict and their dreams for peace in powerful art.

The light show also features a mural in Belfast by Northern Irish Artist Rebecca Lively named ‘The First Supper’ with portraits and parallel life stories of peace and community activists from Northern Ireland, Palestine and Israel. There’s one place left at the table posing the question; “Who’s voice needs to be heard?”

These include portraits of Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan. Bassam lost his 10 year old daughter after she was shot by an Israeli border policeman outside his school, and Rami lost his daughter in an explosion caused by two Palestinian suicide bombers. They are both members of the Parents Circle and have become close friends and advocates of peace in the region and across the world.

The Parallel Peace Project launches on the International Day of Cultural Diversity and it is part of Herstory’s larger Movement project which aims to highlight shared humanity beyond nationality, ethnicity and religion.

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It included light shows in Dublin, Belfast and Jerusalem as symbols of hope and solidarity.

In Dublin, the ‘Movement’ light shows illuminated EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, the Jeanie Johnston ship, the famine memorial, and the GPO on May 18. In Belfast the Shankill Peace Wall and Hazelwood Integrated College were illuminated on May 19.

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Students from Hazelwood Integrated College taking part in the Herstory Parallel Peace Project in Belfast, which sees Israeli, Palestinian and Northern Irish peace activists take part in an exchange of knowledge and experience, led by women.Picture date: Thursday May 20, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story IRISH Herstory. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Students from Hazelwood Integrated College taking part in the Herstory Parallel Peace Project in Belfast, which sees Israeli, Palestinian and Northern Irish peace activists take part in an exchange of knowledge and experience, led by women.Picture date: Thursday May 20, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story IRISH Herstory. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Students from Hazelwood Integrated College taking part in the Herstory Parallel Peace Project in Belfast, which sees Israeli, Palestinian and Northern Irish peace activists take part in an exchange of knowledge and experience, led by women.Picture date: Thursday May 20, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story IRISH Herstory. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Herstory’s previous landmark light shows have signalled their support for movements such as Black Lives Matter and victims of the Mother and Baby Homes.

Herstory founder Melanie Lynch, said: “The project’s objective is to deconstruct the polarising rhetorics that define this era and co-create a new future inspired by the fundamental fact: we are one humanity.

“The pandemic is a reminder that borders and nationalities are fabrications that conceal our common humanity.

“It’s only right that we open our doors and our hearts to the New Irish and offer them the opportunities our ancestors received around the world.

“If Ireland has the greatest diaspora we should be the most compassionate, inclusive country.”


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