Borders and Boundaries

The Linen Hall is pleased to announce its latest project, Borders and Boundaries, which includes an exhibition and a programme of events in November and December 2023.

Borders and Boundaries is The Linen Hall’s new project that explores the meanings and realities of borders and boundaries in Northern Ireland throughout the last century through an exhibition and an event series, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund.

Borders and boundaries come in various forms. They may be physical structures, like peace walls or customs posts, or they may be more psychological or intangible boundaries, like avoiding certain areas due to fear or intimidation. Borders and boundaries can engender conflict and division, but they can also provide opportunities for co-operation through things such as trade, culture, and activism. 

Over the last century, borders and boundaries have shaped the lives of people in Northern Ireland in many ways. Our exhibition will explore the changing cultural, political, and economic implications of borders and boundaries over time, showcasing a diverse range of artefacts and archival material from our collections.

A programme of events will bring together athletes, academics, activists, politicians, and writers to reflect on the borders and boundaries that have influenced politics and society in Northern Ireland since the early twentieth century.  

Curator’s Quote:

Dr Melissa Baird the Project Coordinator said, ‘‘This is an exciting project which focuses on the human experiences of borders and boundaries within and encircling Northern Ireland. National borders, electoral boundaries, and peace walls are all forms of borders and boundaries that have had significant implications for people living and working in Northern Ireland. Cognizant that these boundaries have and can mean different things to different people, The Linen Hall has reinterpreted its various collections, from the Northern Ireland Political Collection to the Theatre and Performing Arts Archive, to explore how borders and boundaries have influenced and impacted all communities across Northern Ireland in the last century.’’

Director’s Quote:

Julie Andrews, Director of The Linen Hall said, ‘’ Borders and Boundaries is a project that will illuminate how experiences, attitudes, and identities have been shaped by various borders and boundaries in Northern Ireland throughout the last century. Our Northern Ireland Political Collection, comprising over 350,000 items, stands as the definitive archive of the recent ‘Troubles’, documenting myriad perspectives on politics and identity. We take great pride in sharing a small part of this invaluable resource with the public through this insightful project. On behalf of The Linen Hall, I would like to express our gratitude to the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund for their support of Borders & Boundaries.’’

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Borders & Boundaries Exhibition. The Linen Hall (2023)