The Irish Famine in History & Memory
From An Górta Mor to Riverdance: The Irish Potato Famine in History & Memory
Image & Spoken-Word
Tuesday March 17, 12:00am – 1:30pm
Lunch With Books: Ohio County Public Library, Wheeling W. Va. (map)
This spoken-word presentation goes beyond the green beer and Riverdance depiction of Irish ‘troubles’ to explore the most traumatic event of Irish culture and history. The Irish Potato Famine (An Gorta Mor — or The Great Hunger) of 1845-1850 compares to the Soviet famine in the Ukraine and more recent human tragedies in Rwanda and Darfur in terms of impact.
Was the potato famine in Ireland genocide, or just an unfortunate convergence of historical and agricultural factors? What was the culpability of the British government, or indeed of Irish culture itself? Through music, images and first-hand accounts by figures such as Charles Trevelyan, Assistant Secretary of the British Treasury, the Dickensian Mr. Twistleton, and incomparably- named Edward Pine Coffin, the production will challenge popular perception about an event that killed one million Irish and sent many more fleeing to Canada, New Zealand and the United States, including Pittsburgh
For more information please phone 304-232-0244 or e-mail the Ohio County Public Library.