TAR ISTEACH – workshop 2

13 / 02/ 12

Monday 13th February saw the staging of the second ‘Sounds of the City’ workshop at Tar Isteach in North Belfast.
 Our session began with those from SARC learning more about previous initiatives and projects young people who frequented the center had engaged in. Photos on the walls of the room that was to be used displayed members of the group involved in marches organized to raise awareness around issues such as racism, respecting community services’ such as fire-brigades, and a mural painted by the group depicting civil rights icon Rosa Parks. After this a member of staff from the Northern Ireland Digital Film Archive visited, screening a number of films dating from the earliest available footage of Belfast city up to pieces made in the 1960’s and 1970’s. A number of earlier films exposed the industrial side of the city, depicting work in mills, linen production and the only available footage of the Titanic, while others portrayed more social aspects of the city, documenting such things as folk musicians and children’s songs. 
After reflecting upon these films, a series of short exercises were introduced to get the group thinking and talking about sounds we liked, as well as different sounds and places in the locality. This worked as a starting point from which to identify possible material for the project. Our session ended with the group deciding to design a walk through the local area for the coming week. The walk was mapped by discussing which places in the locality the group would like to visit, in order to listen, and perhaps record. 
For those of us from SARC these exercises, films, and discussions painted a vivid picture of the local area and community, their history, and their everyday lives.