This article explores the use of storytelling in healing past hurts and its potential in bringing about cross-community contact and reconciliation in post–peace accord Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of the Republic of Ireland. Based on ten interviews with recipients of aid from the European Union Peace and Reconciliation III Fund and the International Fund for Ireland, the article explores the contributions of storytelling projects such as Towards Understanding and Healing (TUH) in terms of providing safe spaces for the telling of and listening to past hurts, rehumanization, and forging of a sense of shared identity and emotional justice. The article examines respondents’ perceptions of how TUH forums address certain complexities regarding the notions of “truth” and "justice." The findings of the study demonstrate that, if properly conducted, a storytelling method- ology such as TUH could be an important tool for the restoration of trust, agency, and hope in a diverse community in a post–peace accord setting. The practical implication for policy makers in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties is to find ways of harnessing the potential of a storytelling methodology alongside other peacebuilding and reconciliation projects.
Maiangwa, Benjamin and Byrne, Sean
"Peacebuilding and Reconciliation through Storytelling in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of the Republic of Ireland,"
Storytelling, Self, Society: Vol. 11:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/storytelling/vol11/iss1/8