Memories and personal histories are the building blocks of our collective community identities. The European Heritage Days Call for European Heritage Stories was established with this idea in mind, aiming to highlight some inspiring stories European Heritage Days communities want to share with each other. As part of the Stories initiative, developed as one of the leading initiatives of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and now in its second year, communities can develop their stories into projects that will benefit their heritage and their community.
One such story is I Remember, submitted to European Heritage Stories by the The Little Museum of Dublin and selected in 2018 to receive a grant. Storytelling is at the heart of The Little Museum, just as sharing stories is an integral part of Irish and European heritage. The Museum is described as “Dublin’s best” by the Irish Times, and it is the best place in the city to hear the story of Ireland’s capital. I Remember, still in progress, aims to explore understandings of European collective identity by recording and sharing various personal narratives. The Little Museum of Dublin itself is a focal point for cultural dialogue and a setting for storytelling. As one of the leading museums in Dublin, and in Ireland, it welcomes thousands of national and international guests every year.
The I Remember project is based on the collection of video interviews with visitors from all over Europe who are invited to share their own experience of the city. Starting with “I remember,” each of the 1-2-minute recordings develops into a personal story.
European Dimension of the Project
The project focuses on the memories of Irish and European guests. By promoting the recorded stories in the museum, on social media and on the web, the project secures the stories for future generations who are interested in the heritage of their city and community, both in Dublin and further afield.
The Little Museum has been a centre of storytelling in Dublin for many years. The project has allowed the museum to further develop its mission to be a centre for inspiration and encouragement for active engagement with heritage on different levels and by using various means. Visitors and participants in the project are able to discover inspirational and entertaining ways to interact with heritage and their cultural surroundings.
Leave to Remain: Refugees in Ireland 1847-2017
Alongside a wide variety of interviews being conducted with individuals and local Dublin institutions, the interview segments will be incorporated in the exhibition space at the museum. One such exhibition Leave to Remain, open until 12 May, focuses on the personal stories of refugees in Ireland from 1847 to 2017. It features a comparison of two stories – the photography collection made during a three-year project by Vukasin Nedeljkovic, and a text by Sebastian Barry that follows the journey of a young Irishman on a coffin ship bound for Quebec in 1847. The exhibition showcases personal experiences of people from across the world who came to Ireland as refugees in different periods in history. Throughout the interviews, they share their memories of their homelands, the struggles they experienced, and the process of making Ireland their home. For more information
The next phase of interviews is scheduled to take place at the National Maternity Hospital where the staff, patients, neighbours and people born in the hospital will share their stories that connect to the collective memories of Dublin, Ireland and Europe.
The films enable and inspire visitors, the local community to make connections with Dublin's heritage through their direct participation in the project. When the project is complete the interviews will be available online to enable people further afield to hear the stories. I Remember demonstrates how stimulating and personally compelling our heritage can be. Once the project is complete the videos will be shared online and in the museum.
For more information about Little Museum visit their website www.littlemuseum.ie and follow them on Twitter: @dublinmuseum