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Objectives of the project

Documentary film, public history and education in Northern Ireland

Our project aims:

  • To exploit the knowledge-transfer potential of documentary film for enhancing historical understanding and post-conflict reconciliation.
  • To maximize the effectiveness of the knowledge transfer process by providing interpretative support for the reception of the film The Enigma of Frank Ryan via festival screenings and workshops and via a dedicated website designed to support the film.
  • To develop a second feature-length documentary film, Lost Revolution: the Abbey Theatre and 1916, based on the research of Dr McGarry.
  • To delineate and test a model of good practice for the collaboration of documentary film-makers, historians and educationalists.
  • To advance the public communication of historical understanding in a divided society through participation in the 'Teaching Divided Histories' project.
  • To maximize the effectiveness of the knowledge-transfer process by providing interpretative support for documentary film projects via a dedicated website and other interpretative activity (public discussions, workshops, conferences) to achieve pedagogic impact in Northern Ireland.
  • To explore a range of research questions about how historians relate to the popular media and about the differing modes of narration employed by film-makers and academic historians, and to share these explorations with a popular audience.
  • To create opportunities for knowledge transfer and public dialogue around these issues, through workshops, educational materials and an international conference.


Abbey Theatre