Over a 5 week programme, a group of participants delved deep into the riches of Ulster Museum’s collection and Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive exploring them through the medium of creative writing.

The group heard from a range of expert speakers who delivered sessions on responding to these artefacts with their own words. This included the fantastic Anna Liesching (Curator of Art, Ulster Museum) and Padraig Regan (Poet at the Seamus Heaney Centre) who hosted a session on ekphrasis, which is poetry that responds to objects – perfect for us to get creative with the museum collection! The duo shared what they currently collaborate on, bringing together Ulster Museum and the Seamus Heaney Centre, and encouraged our participants to take up this challenge for themselves.

We were in for a treat with sessions from Sinéad Breathnach-Cashell from Northern Ireland Screen, who presented to us the wonders of the Digital Film Archive – complete with examples of how artists have responded to its contents. Sinéad described the archive as a sort of eclectic charity shop, where you never know what you may find among the many donations that those there before you have made. It is a free public access resource with hundreds of hours of moving image titles, spanning from 1897 to the present day that are primarily focused on Northern Irish society.

Below you’ll find spoken word poems that our participants wrote and edited to and with footage from NI Screen’s Digital Film Archive, with digital skills they learned from RRR’s own Digital Engagement Officer Stephen O’Hagan.

We hope you enjoy!


Amy McCloy – This is Christmas in Belfast City


Holly Fusco – Ireland on the Map


Natalie Cole – Mayfly


Ryan McAllister – Today’s the day I left home


For more information on Ulster Museum’s collection, see https://www.nmni.com/collections/Collections.aspx
For more information on the Digital Film Archive, see https://digitalfilmarchive.net