My Voice is Still Lost
My Voice is Still Lost is a new quadrophonic sound installation by Linda O’Keeffe. Please join us for a special listening event to hear this new work as part of the evolving Murder Machine project curated by Christine Eyene in collaboration with Ormston House. A preview of the work will also feature on Nova for RTÉ’s Lyric FM.
My Voice is Still Lost explores two different pieces of text relating to Ireland’s transition from a colonised space to a free state and the impact this had on Irish society and Irish women. The texts are The Murder Machine by Pádraig Pearse (1916) and Irish Declaration of Independence (1919).
The artist says:
“Neither text was taught to me when I was in school or college and even though I knew about the Easter Rising and the civil war it was more through word of mouth, television programmes or some event happening in Northern Ireland. Having explored both texts I realised that they emphasised a strong goal of equality and solidarity among all Irish people, men and women, as the expected outcome of freedom from British rule, yet under home rule the rights of society, and especially women, were fundamentally repressed by the church and the state: a colonising of our minds and bodies through the rigid structures of Catholicism. There seems a link between our lack of knowledge of these texts and this repression in society. If we were not taught the ideals of these thinkers and rebels then perhaps we would never rebel against this new rule.
The work involved me talking to different women and asking them if they remembered learning these texts or what they knew about the rising, most said they knew very little, that it had little or no impact on their daily lives and that they felt that perhaps they should have known, like it was a blank spot in their history.
The use of male voices in the piece highlights how even those who sought to challenge colonisation, to bring about equality, and to speak for the masses were still part of the male hierarchical systems. Though there were women who placed themselves on the front line for the rights and freedoms of Irish people, what followed did not in fact enhance their rights or freedoms.
To me, the continued suppression of women’s rights that occurred after the civil war and independence from Britain has in fact meant that we remained a colonised group whose identity was shaped by those who had no interest in our needs or rights. Though a lot has changed in the past twenty years there is still a great need for more change and for more women’s voices in the fight for equality within Irish society. This only occurs through accessing knowledge and understanding that the fight for our rights is not a new concept.”
The artist would like to thank all of the people who contributed their voices and thoughts to the making of this work: Sheena Barrett, Fionnuala Conway, Jennie Guy, Brona Martin, Susanne Smith, Sarah O’Keeffe-Nolan, Harry Moore, Scot McLaughlin, Mick O’Shea, Andrew Quick, Charlie Geer, Ian Heywood, Gerald Davies and Tony Doyle.
My Voice is Still Lost remains until the end of the Murder Machine project, 17 July. Murder Machine is developed in partnership with EVA International and Making Histories Visible.
Admission is free and all are welcome.
InformationThursday 12 May, 6-7pm.
Image: photograph by Allie Glynn at Crude Media.
This event is part of the Murder Machine project.