In November 2019 the group made their way to the village of Clady near Strabane. Some of the group had participated in the recent ‘Voicing the Bridge’ project there and were keen to learn more about life on the border from the towns’ residents.
Johnny Kelly from Border People Against Brexit talked to the group about why this cross border, cross-community, politically unaligned group was established and what they were doing in response to their belief that a border would have devastating effects on them and their communities. It was remarkable to hear how this group of people came together and were not influencing the decisions being made at European level. Kelly was eloquent, passionate and generously spent much more time than planned with the group answering all their questions with clarity and respect.
Eamonn Lafferty, a resident who is also involved in the ‘100 words 1 picture’ project also talked about his experiences of growing up, living and working in and away from Clady and the changes he saw, physical and societal. Marcus O’ Neill also spoke about his experiences and difficulties of living in a town with a manned border. He talked about his life now, paddling the Foyle river, enjoying nature bringing up his family in peace.
We rounded up the day with each participant talking about the approach they were taking with the project. Some had begun work, others researching, others still not quite sure what direction to take. It was very useful for all of us to hear how each person was experiencing the project in a unique way and the resulting work should make an excellent exhibition.