The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey, recently (13 March 2023) published the programme of events tomark 25 years of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement and the Northern Ireland Assembly at Parliament Buildings. The programme, which will run from March to July 2023 contains a range of public events and activities including an opportunity to view the Silent Testimony exhibition by internationally renowned portrait artist Colin Davidson.
The Speaker said: The 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and the Assembly is a significant and transformational milestone which should be marked. It is important that this is not just an occasion for politicians to talk to themselves. I am therefore very pleased that the Assembly's programme of events which has commenced this week offers increased opportunities for the public to visit Parliament Buildings, which has been the setting for many of our significant political moments over these 25 years.
The Speaker continued: One of the key events at Parliament Buildings will be Colin Davidson's Silent Testimony exhibition, which will run throughout April. It is vitally important that as we approach this significant milestone, these anniversary events should remember victims who have often felt left behind by our process. It is also fitting that the home of the Assembly, Parliament Buildings, should be a platform to showcase some of our best local talent and I want to thank Colin and National Museums NI for their initiative and cooperation in bringing the exhibition to Parliament Buildings.
Colin Davidson said: It is a privilege to have been invited to show Silent Testimony' at Parliament Buildings. In many ways, this body of work represents my response to the Good Friday Agreement and my desire to acknowledge the massive section of our community daily living with their own stories of loss. It is my hope that these eighteen portrait paintings shine a light on the ongoing legacy of grief endured by victims and survivors of the conflict years. I would like to thank the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, National Museums NI and WAVE Trauma Centre for their support in enabling the public to view Silent Testimony' in this iconic location during this anniversary period.
The Speaker said: With Silent Testimony and the Assembly Commission's own permanent exhibition which documents our political process over the years, there is a really good opportunity in April for those who have never visited before to spend a morning or afternoon at Parliament Buildings.
The Speaker concluded: While there have undoubtedly been many difficulties and frustrations over the years, this 25th anniversary is an opportunity for us to reflect on what has been achieved, particularly the building of a predominantly peaceful society. It is also the time for us to focus on the work that remains to be done, which will undoubtedly be challenging but is necessary to build a prosperous and shared future for all of us.
Notes to Editors:
- Programme is attached.
- The Silent Testimony exhibition will be hosted at Parliament Buildings from 3rd until 30th April in partnership between the Assembly Commission and National Museums Northern Ireland. Tickets are free and can be booked via www.niassembly.gov.uk/25years; More information on the Silent Testimony exhibition can be found here: 'Silent Testimony' - Colin Davidson
- Free Public Tours of Parliament Buildings can also be booked via www.niassembly.gov.uk/25years
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