There was a wide variety of work taking place during 2017 – this short report can only cover some of it.
A major exhibition took place at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast, organised by Conflict Textiles and INNATE, on War-Torn Children. This ran for six weeks and consisted of arpilleras, photos (After the Waves on refugees), posters and some artefacts. http://cain.ulster.ac.uk The exhibition was subsequently hosted at the CB1 Gallery in Limerick and the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry. The Linen Hall Library exhibition included a variety of programme, including school visits, and an evening with Margaretta D’Arcy in conversation with Phil Scraton, and production of a resource sheet on refugees. The Limerick exhibition also had a variety of supporting programme.
We were involved with supporting the conference of the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP) which took place in Belfast in April, including running some workshops, and published an extensive report http://www.innatenonviolence.org As peace trails are within INMP’s remit, we ran peace trail walks for participants and received valuable feedback.
Peace trails for Ireland have a long journey to make but this year saw a real take off in a number of ways with Belfast, Derry and Dublin definitely on the list, Co Down and Co Kerry as prospective participants, and other places too (a short trail already exists for Co Mayo). INNATE initiated this project for Ireland and provides coordination for the different groups and people involved. The project is at the ‘information gathering stage’ and, hopefully in a few years when enough information is gathered for the different locations involved, material will be produced in the same format for all locations. The first issue of an occasional newssheet on peace trails was produced.
As usual, 10 full issues of Nonviolent News were produced on a monthly basis in e-mail and web formats with a shorter paper edition, plus two e-mail and web news supplements (for the two months when there was no full edition). The e-mail edition runs to an average of 11 pages. While the majority of people now see Nonviolent News in either e-mail or web editions, the short paper edition, consisting of the first two pages of news, is handy for distribution.
INNATE now has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/INNATE.nonviolence with information sent out regularly. There are also two websites, this general INNATE website and a linked Flickr photo site which now has well over 1,200 photos/items (and well over 300,000 photos individually opened – you can view items without opening them); this includes photos from some INNATE programme this year. The main website had its best year ever in terms of usage with home page views double what they were previously. Other material has continued to be added, e.g. a new poster series on children and conflict marking the War-Torn Children exhibition(s).
To mark INNATE’s 30th anniversary, there was a survey using a questionnaire to receive responses and feedback to the work. This was generally very positive and views shared have been feeding into internal assessment of INNATE’s work and way of working. We have also been looking at options in recording the role of civil society in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and have made proposals which have as yet not come to anything. An overview of INNATE’s 30 years.
INNATE remains a small group in terms of active members but with a much wider circle of subscribers and contacts, and responding to a wide range of issues and queries. As always, we are grateful for support in whatever form this is possible – sending in news, writing, being involved in projects and other work, assisting with contacts and networking, and financial support. A monthly networking meeting takes place in Belfast to which anyone interested is very welcome.