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Tag Archives: Irish

Moving Lives: short film explores Irish migration

Mairéad McClean’s short film Moving Lives, a collaboration with the Live and Learn initiative of National Museums Northern Ireland, presents the lived experience of Irish migration from multiple vantage points through space, time and memory.

Representing movements in several directions (immigration, emigration, return migration) and stages (leaving, journeying, arriving), the film weaves together the stories of migrants from the distant past up until recent times narrated in their own voices, through their correspondence, and in the multi-generational memories passed to their descendants.

Filmed on location at the Ulster American Folk Park – an outdoor migration museum in County Tyrone – in the enclosed setting of a dimly-lit nineteenth-century ‘old world’ mass house, the film challenges the illusory fixedness of its backdrop with an exploration of lives moving through space and time, transcending standard chronologies and uncovering universal experience beyond the Irish context.

Article source and full lenght text: Irish Times, Generation Emigration Blog.

The Gathering – Ireland 2013

Whether you’re Irish born, Irish bred or Irish in spirit, get involved & celebrate a year of Irish connections – The Gathering Ireland 2013!

Festivals and events

The Gathering will bring together hundreds of festivals and events throughout Ireland during 2013. They will celebrate the best in Irish music, art, literature, dance, culture, heritage, sport, film and food.

Fantastic New Year’s Eve Festivals will bookend the year, ensuring that 2013 both starts and ends with a bang! In between, take your pick from events such as St Patrick’s Festival, the Galway Arts Festival, the Wexford Opera Festival and Temple Bar TradFest, to name but a few. These will be familiar to many people but in 2013 they will all offer exciting new elements, making them bigger and better than ever for those visiting for The Gathering.

Great Gathering ideas

There are so many ways to get involved in The Gathering Ireland 2013. From family reunions to community festivals and twin towns to alumni gatherings, everyone is encouraged to work together to organise and host get-togethers. Reach out to your networks and connections overseas and invite them to come and visit in 2013. Here are some ideas…

Tracing your roots

There is a global Irish diaspora of 70 million. Are you one of them? Instead of waiting for you to find us, we’re inviting you back for The Gathering Ireland 2013. It might just be the perfect time to come and find out more about your forefathers and forge a deeper connection with our country.

When you start researching your family history, you never know what you’re going to find. And with no fewer than four recent US presidents claiming Irish family connections, the chances of discovering an influential relative are not as slim as they might at first seem!

In addition to the 1.3 million church records available online, there are national repositories of material, as well as local heritage and genealogy centres around the country. Download our guide, Tracing Your Ancestors (2.5MB .pdf) to get started or check out: www.irishgenealogy.ie, www.rootsireland.ie and www.nationalarchives.ie

You can also celebrate your Irish roots and honour your Irish ancestors by getting an official Certificate of Irish Heritage. These certs are issued by the Irish Government to those who have at least one Irish ancestor. You will even be offered help to track down the documents required to apply for the cert. In practice, that almost amounts to a free start on tracing your roots! Find out more at: www.heritagecertificate.ie

We hope this will be a chance for you to feel closer to Ireland and meet family that you never knew existed.

Racist, Anti-Immigrant Art from the Turn of the 20th Century

In this cartoon, an Irishman and a Chinese man are devouring Uncle Sam. Ultimately, the Chinese man consumes them both and steals the Irishman’s hat.

There was a time in America when the Irish were characterized as apes, Italians as street filth, and Chinese as parasitic locusts. Today, these groups are key tiles in the American mosaic, but their arrival was initially met with fear and opposition. Newspapers and magazine cartoons from the turn of the 20th century illustrate these sentiments.

Many of these images were originally published in humor magazines such as Puck and The Wasp. Though modern-day viewers might see them as racist propaganda, perhaps in their time they functioned more as political satire. Think of Stephen Colbert and his hyperbolic, politically incorrect Chinese caricature, Ching Chong Ding Dong. One hundred years from now, people watching Colbert Report archives might misinterpret the comedy as something more sinister.

But it is safe to say there was a more sinister attitude toward immigrants in the country at the turn of the 20th century. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 made it government policy to restrict an ethnic group’s ability to enter the country. In 1896, an Atlantic author called immigrants”a hopeless burden” that would dilute the industriousness of the nation. In 1917, the Immigration Act barred a whole range of individuals – including the illiterate, the “feeble minded,” and homosexuals – from entering the country. Many of the images in this gallery echo these fears and portray immigrants, particularly the Chinese and the Irish, as parasites devouring what Americans hold dear.

 Regardless of these measures and sentiments, the immigrants saw the America as an ark of refuge, as the last image in this gallery shows. And although these images are hundred years old, a lot of the conversation on immigration remains the same. Today, immigrants – mostly from Latin America – have a similar dream to those who sought refuge in the 1900s. And many Americans have similar fears about what role, if any, these American hopefuls should play.
The article by Brian Resnick (with many examples of images) in The Atlantic.

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