Launch of “Out of Adversity” Film by Peace Process Project

Posted on: 08 May 2013

The lived experiences of teachers and students of the Northern Ireland school system during the Troubles are explored in a short film, which was launched in Trinity College Dublin.

Drawing on interviews with teachers, pupils and education officials, “Out of Adversity” paints a striking picture of the varied experiences of those involved in education in Northern Ireland through some of the worst years of the Troubles.

Participants in the film include school principals and past pupils of eight different schools in Belfast, Derry, Enniskillen and Newry. The 10-minute film documents how educators and communities endeavoured to ensure that schools functioned as sanctuaries during the conflict.

Project Co-Director Research Fellow in History at TCD Dr Anna Bryson said: “In this film, we have taken a broad and layered view of the Peace Process. It highlights the varied experience of teachers, pupils and educationalists. These voices help us more deeply and more generously to understand the past.”

Project Director Professor in Law and Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London Seán McConville added: “Schooling has often been a factor in Northern Ireland’s community division and strife. Yet schools have also provided refuge, opened minds and cleared the way to reconciliation. These possibilities weave their way through this short film.”

Guest speakers at the launch of the film were Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, and John O’Dowd, Minister for Education, Northern Ireland.

“Out of Adversity” emanates from the Peace Process: Layers of Meaning project. This innovative and imaginative project has created an important archive on the peace process, oral history training, online resources and a series of cross-community and cross-border projects. It is a joint initiative between Queen Mary, University of London, Trinity College Dublin and Dundalk Institute of Technology and seeks to increase awareness of the complex history of the Peace Process.