In our cultural and our historical understanding the very words 'the Linen Hall Library? represent not just books, but better hopes for the way we live.

Seamus Heaney


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Communities Share Past and Present Through Eye of a Camera

05 May 2017


This week the Linen Hall Library in partnership with Belfast Exposed, and with funding provided by the Department for Communities, launched the photographic exhibition The Past, Present and Future. The project brought together traditional, and new and emerging communities using photography as a medium through which to explore their cultural space in Northern Ireland. The Linen Hall Library archives were used as inspiration and reference.

A number of community organisations took part including  Ballybeen Women's Group, The Greater Shankill Alternatives, St. Louise's Comprehensive College and The Syrian Family Refugees. Following a series of 13 photographic workshops, the groups were then let loose with a camera to capture their personal impressions of their surroundings. The overarching theme was to capture and compare Belfast of the past with Belfast of the present.

Ali Soda, a participant from The Syrian Family Refugees, commented: "Taking pictures of Belfast has given me new insight into my new home city."

Linen Hall Library Director Julie Andrews said: "This exhibition was a fantastic way to bring very different communities together to view and explore their surroundings through a visual, creative medium. The Linen Hall's vast archives were a great source of inspiration for the participants who really enjoyed sharing and discussing their work."

The Past, Present, and Future is a free exhibition and will run in the Linen Hall Library until 2 June.

Funding was provided by Together Building a United Community (TBUC) through the Department for Communities.

For more information about Belfast Exposed go to: