Our first project was the drama documentary film SUNDAY for Channel 4 Television. The film was broadcast in January 2002 and was seen by 2.5 million people in Ireland & Great Britain. It was also broadcast in Australia, Canada and a number of European countries. ‘SUNDAY’ tells the community story of Bloody Sunday. 'SUNDAY’ won Best Single Drama at the prestigious ‘Prix Italia’ awards ceremony in Sicily 2002. It was also one of only four dramas nominated that year for Best TV Drama at the International Emmy awards in New York in 2002 and it subsequently went on to win Best Single Drama at the Irish Film & Television Academy Awards in Belfast in 2003.
In reaching their decision the ‘Prix Italia’ jury said:
“'Sunday’ proposes a human drama of great emotional impact, backed up by solid direction that sees beyond the specific conflict, to identify a value – justice – that is essential for co-existence and healthy relationships inside a constantly changing society, which is increasingly having to come to terms with the new and the different.”
Post SUNDAY while we realised we’d succeeded in telling an important story of the conflict we were aware that there were many other stories. We began to consider how to tell the wider story, the story of the conflict itself.
If you lost your father, brother or son on Bloody Sunday, that incident would likely be the worst atrocity of the conflict for you. But equally if you father was killed by the IRA or the UVF or your sister had been killed by either of these organisations or the RUC or British Army, then that would likely be the worst atrocity for you. We wanted to find a way to give voice to those other stories and at the same time create an inclusive educational space in which participants from across the social spectrum that comprises the conflict could begin to hear the other’s story and at the same time gain perspective on the underlying dynamics that propelled us into violent conflict with each other. Out of these considerations epilogues emerged.
epilogues is our innovative workshop based education programme for adult citizens here. Its use of personal testimony and TV drama draws participants into the complexities and realities of the conflict in and about ‘Northern Ireland’. It does this by exploring, within a workshop environment that models democratic practice, six themes that are central to an understanding of violent political conflict: Violence, Loss, Revenge, Forgiveness, Justice & Human Rights. It facilitates discussion on these and other key questions by exploring ‘the conflict’ from the perspective of people who were part of it, or suffered as a result of it and found themselves compelled to react to circumstances unfolding around them with what perspective they had at the time.
Gaslight continues to deliver epilogues across civil society here and over eight years and with near 1000 graduates from all perspectives it has proven itself capable of dealing with the complexities involved in conflict transformation work. The programme is delivered to participants in both single and mixed identity settings. It gives adult citizens both an overview of, and an insight into, the underlying causes of the conflict, better equipping them to play an active role in peacebuilding and so helping to foster a culture of Justice and Human Rights for all.