There are four speakers at the launch, including Laura and Professor Cahal McLaughlin of Queens’s University Belfast who will set the scene by presenting documented personal narratives of Long Kesh/Maze, recorded as part of the ‘Prisons Memory Archive’ project.A member of PRONI staff will also explore archives that illustrate some unusual historical nuances connected to the site. Prof. Audrey Horning, Head of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast will formally introduce the book.
The launch is free and runs from 6.30 pm to 8 pm in PRONI.
For anyone needing a quick introduction: here’s the summary of the book from Amazon:
Long Kesh / Maze prison was infamous as the major holding centre for paramilitary prisoners during the course of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Some of the major events of the recent conflict centred on, emanated from, and were transformed by it, including the burning of the internment camp in 1974, the protests and hunger strikes of 1980-1981, the mass escape of PIRA prisoners in 1983, and the role of prisoners in facilitating and sustaining the peace process of the 1990s.
Now, over a decade after the signing of the Belfast Agreement (1998), Long Kesh / Maze remains one of the most contentious remnants of the conflict and has become central to debates about what we do with such sites, what they mean, and how they relate to contemporary rememberings of the difficult recent past.
The only independent archaeological investigation of Long Kesh / Maze prior to its partial demolition, this volume reveals the seminal role of material culture in understanding the prison. It moves from traditional uses of solely documentary and oral evidence to exploring the full range of material remains of the prison as they have been abandoned in situ or been dispersed and re-contextualized into wider society. Using a multitude of sources, McAtackney creatively provides a unique interpretation of the Northern Irish Troubles and the continuing destabilizing role of material remnants of the conflict in the peace process.