Cahal McLaughlin on the role of the Prisons Memory Archive in Northern Ireland

Director, Prisons Memory Archive, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Prisons Memory Archive is a collection of 175 filmed walk-and-talk recordings with people who were inmates or guards in prisons during the conflict in Northern Ireland (1968-1998). Listen to Cahal explain how he built an archive through oral history story-telling that aims at showcasing different voices and narratives on prison experiences during the conflict in Northern Ireland. The archives aims to challenge the mainstream discourse on victimhood and perpetrators.


  • The Prisons Memory Archive
  • What is a walk-and-talk interview?
  • The advantages of an oral history archive
  • What led you to the idea of collecting testimonies in this way?
  • How is the Prisons Memory Archive used?
  • What role can a civil society archive play in a transitional justice context?
  • Reconciling different narratives?
  • What can other archives learn?


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