We are delighted to share some of these photographs from our Culture Night 2022 event. We thought we would get a little more imaginative for Culture Night this year. Our Catching Stories team created an immersive oral history experience outside the old Grattan Street medical centre. We played a clip of Joe Scanlon recounting getting vaccinated in 1958 at the Grattan Street medical centre (click the link to hear the clip). People of all ages stopped by to be ‘transported’ back in time to hear Joe tell of his experience with ‘the branding iron’. It was great to see so much interest in our Catching Stories project and how strongly people reacted to the use of oral history in this way.
We reached the landmark number of 700 in the number of our collected interviews this week. Thanks to Geraldine Healy whose recent life history interview became the 700th added to our database and thanks to all our interviewees!
A major collaboration between the Cork Folklore Project and the Community Work Department of the HSE has been announced. A Community Oral History Outreach Officer, funded by the HSE, has been appointed to work on a part time basis over the following two years under the management of the Cork Folklore Project. The role will be focused on the use of oral history (the recording of people’s memories, stories and testimony), to impact positively across Cork City.
The Cork Folklore Project, which operates under the Department of Folklore and Ethnology, UCC, has been internationally recognised since their foundation in 1996. In 2018, the project was acknowledged at the International Conference of Oral History in Finland, for the work it has done to systematically collect, archive and share the folklore of Cork. Over the last two decades it has digitally recorded the voices and memories of people across Cork, as well as producing journals, radio programmes and an active outreach programme. In 2018, they opened the Cork Folklore Project Outreach Hub at the North Cathedral Visitor Centre with their partners, Northside Community Enterprises.
Murphy, who has been appointed to take on this role, outlines his excitement at
“This is an exciting role to be undertaking with the Cork
Folklore Project in cooperation with the HSE Health Action Zones initiative.
The range and variety of these oral history projects provide opportunities for
research and community engagement as well as some challenges for our small
organisation. I look forward to building on my experience with CFP to meet
these challenges. It is such a privilege to speak with so many people and share
their differing experiences with the community as part of our collective memory
and unwritten history. We don’t know yet what nuggets our interviews will
uncover- it’s still a mystery. But we will find gems for sure, and that sense
of anticipation on the verge of discovery is thrilling!”
Community Work Department within the HSE works to develop innovative programmes
which reflect the many factors that determine the health of individuals and
communities. The department promotes inclusive ways of working in order to
secure concrete improvements in quality of life for those communities while
also playing a key role in structuring, developing and supporting the HSE’s
relationship with voluntary and community groups, funding support is just one
type of support offered.
McNamara, Community Health Worker with the HSE’s Cork North Community Work
Department, explained that having worked with the Cork Folklore Project in the
past, it was clear that a deeper collaboration would be worthwhile:
We were aware of the great work being done by the Cork Folklore
Project over many years and in 2016 began collaborating with them to document
memories associated with St. Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital. The
overwhelming success of that project underlined the potential for oral history
to impact positively on the community and how closely aligned those outcomes
were with our aims within the Health Action Zones of the City. We are now
delighted to be able to invest in the Cork Folklore Project over a two year
period, to deepen this work and impact.
will focus on three strands, Grattan Street Health Centre to document the
memories and experiences of staff and service users in light of a permanent
movement of the services to St Mary’s Health Campus later this year. The
project will seek to also engage older groups in Health Action Zone areas later
in 2019 and aims to explore the use of oral history in the care of patients
suffering from dementia at the Mercy Hospital Cork.