Migration and Citizenship Research Initiative
Monto Heritage

Multi-Media Exhibition: The Monto Heritage Project: Stories and Images from the North Inner City’s Diverse Communities

Date: Sept 3rd, 6.30pm Location: Killarney Court Community Centre, Dublin 1
Guest Speakers: Lord Mayor of Dublin, Emer Costello & Minister for Integration, John Curran

For more information about the project: Cormac O’Donnell, Dublin City Council Integration Office, 086-8150177 or Dr. Alice Feldman, UCD Sociology 086-8223068
Also see www.placingvoices.com

Heritage is about the memories and association with places people carry with them and what they seek to pass on. What is it like to have always lived in an area steeped in history? What is it like to move into such a place, bringing memories of home and attempting to get know the culture and history of the place where you now live? What are the ways heritage can and does reflect these diverse experiences and senses of belonging?

Integration is defined as a mutual process of adaption over time based on structural participation, social inclusion and cultural competence – among all members of Irish society. What can we do as academics, public servants, local development agencies, community actors and society at large to serve this common cause?

This multi-media exhibition of stories and images reflects the lives and memories of seniors, youths and migrants in the area of Dublin known as ‘the Monto’.

This exhibition goes beneath the surface of ‘official’ heritage to give voice to what matters most to people in their everyday lives. Often, it is not the things people keep or the buildings in the area, but the people from these places and how they lived that are remembered and shared through anecdotes and stories.

Migrants are keen to learn about the history and heritage of the area and Ireland in general. They are equally keen to share the stories of where they come from, to point out the commonalities between their life experiences and Irish culture and values, and how they are combining them in their lives here.

The exhibition also includes a selection of photographs taken by young people from the area. These photos convey something of their sense of alienation within a harsh urban environment and from the popular nostalgia of the past, but they tell new stories that reflect what will become the heritage of this generation. Those from previous generations recall both hard times and struggle as well as the strength of personal and community spirit that sustained them – an ethos that is carried on today through community work by and for all of those living in the area, including those recently arrived. A series of short, multi-media stories created by project participants will also be screened during this event.

The exhibition emerges from a Heritage Council funded project to explore the meanings of heritage in a culturally diverse Ireland. The project was jointly led by UCD, Dublin City Council, and CREATE who brought together a team of artists and community activists to collaborate with local residents in exploring their sense of heritage as part of their daily lives. See www.placingvoices.com for further information about the project.

The activities in the Monto were undertaken in partnership with the Dublin Folklore Project and included participation by the Lourdes Senior Day Care Centre, North Dublin City Centre Community Action Project, and the Dublin Multicultural Resource Centre.