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The politics of storytelling and storylistening: policy and memory in post-conflict Northern Ireland

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The ways in which individual experiences of conflict have been elicited during the peace process in Northern Ireland, suggest a dynamic relationship between memory and policy, which has consequences for both. How do policy frameworks position storytelling in relation to other ways of dealing with the past? Conversely, how does storytelling influence and work as a response to absent or piecemeal policy frameworks? This article conceptualises the assemblages of accounts of conflict and policies to deal with the past as a politics of storytelling and -listening in the ongoing peace process. It first considers memory and policy in terms of *scapes: memoryscapes and policyscapes, in order to highlight the crowded and contested terrains that have to be negotiated in Northern Ireland. It uses memoryscapes as a way of emplacing storytelling projects, before examining these projects’ changing place in the Northern Ireland policyscape since 1998. Superimposing these scapes on to each other, the article turns to examining two storytelling projects – The Ardoyne Commemoration Project (2002) and Unheard Voices: Stories of Loyalist Women Growing up in Northern Ireland (2022) ­– in order to discuss the evolving temporal politics of storytelling and -listening.
TidsskriftOral History
StatusUdgivet - 22 jan. 2023

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