On Saturday 19 March, the 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference “Reimagining Remembrance” started in Belfast, Northern Ireland. That first afternoon at the Welcoming Ceremony, opening statements were made by EuroClio President Marjan de Groot-Reuvekamp, Director Jonathan Even-Zohar, Alan McCully, Senior Lecturer in Education at Ulster University, and Robert Heslip, Culture and Heritage Officer of the Belfast City Council. Afterwards, Carmel Callagher, Registrar General of the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), presented a SWOT-analysis on the history of education in Northern Ireland. During the evening, an icebreaking session was held, where all participants had the opportunity to meet the delegates while enjoying a warm buffet with snacks. The venue of the opening day was the Lanyon Building at Queen’s University.
The central question and theme of the second day, Sunday 20 March, of the conference was “What History Emerges From a Decade of Centenaries?” At the Ulster Museum, the participants were welcomed by Paddy Gilmore, Director of Learning and Partnership, and Fiona Baird, Learning Officer of the National Museums Northern Ireland/Ulster Museum. Bob Stradling, Editor-in-Chief of Historiana and Steven Stegers, EuroClio Programme Director, presented the Historiana progress. Afterwards, Eamon Phoenix, Senior Lecturer in History of Stranmillis College, discussed the question “How have commemorations sustained tensions?”, followed by historian Philip Orr, presenting the question “What does 1916 mean for 2016 and beyond?” with discussants Alan McCully and Joke van der Leeuw-Roord (Special Advisor to EuroClio).
The second part of the morning session had room for two discussions. First, a discussion panel consisting of various museum educators, artist and civil society representatives was chaired by Martin Melarkey, Nerve Centre Director. The panel touched upon the following questions: How to bridge the gap what should be remembers? How do museums, civil society and artists deal with the past and present? Second, a view of the Nerve Centre Short Movies was shown, afterwards discussed by William Blair, the Head of Human History of the National Museums of Northern Ireland/Ulster Museum and Paula McFetridge, an artist, at the Kabosh Theatre.
After the lunch break, the conference departed from the Ulster Museum for a thematic tour around the Belfast murals in parallel groups, led by local historians. The guided tour was the end of the programme and Sunday and the participants enjoyed a free evening afterwards.
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