Hume Commemorative Textiles

Members of the Hume family joined representatives from Ulster University and the John and Pat Hume Foundation to launch the John and Pat Hume Commemorative Textiles on the  Magee Campus last week. The textiles were commissioned by Conflict Textiles and the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University and celebrate the life and tireless work of John and Pat Hume in contributing to peace in Northern Ireland over several decades. The textiles will be on display for a six-month period and members of the public are invited to view them in the Ulster University Magee Campus Library.

Speaking at the launch of the textile exhibition, Mo Hume, daughter of John and Pat Hume said: “We are honoured that Conflict Textiles and the Hume/O’Neill Chair have commissioned these beautiful pieces in memory of our parents. Before she died, Mum spoke at length to Roberta Bacic, the curator, as she found the work of Conflict Textiles truly inspiring. The fact that they are displayed in the Magee Library where Dad spent so much time and wrote the bulk of his Master’s thesis, is particularly special for us. They both believed passionately in the power of education and were strong supporters of the Magee campus.  We would also like to offer our deep appreciation to Deborah Stockdale and Linda Adams, the textile makers, for their outstanding work.”

Dr Colin Davidson (Ulster University, Chancellor) and Professor Mo Hume unveil the textiles

The first piece of commemorative textile is entitled John Hume, Peacemaker and was created by Deborah Stockdale. The embroidered portrait represents the multifaceted nature of Derry native John Hume: teacher, Credit Union organiser, civil rights campaigner, nationalist politician and founding member and leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). To create the piece Deborah had discussions with John’s daughter Mo which helped her to move beyond his public persona and gave her a sense “[of] John, the man and father”. The textile includes one of John’s neckties which was donated by his wife Pat shortly before she passed away on 2 September 2021. Embroidered onto the textile is a quote from John’s Nobel lecture in Oslo in 1998 that reads “The basis of peace and stability, in any society, has to be the fullest respect for the human rights of all its people” along with two oak leaf symbols, to represent his beloved city of Derry. The cluster of five oak leaves signifies his five children who were central in John’s life, influenced from Deborah’s conversations with Mo, and the cluster of six leaves underneath his name represent the six counties of Ulster.

The second piece is entitled Pat Hume and was created by Linda Adams. Following the Chilean arpillera tradition, the piece honours the life and legacy of Pat Hume and features two central images, one of her beside John fully engaging and supporting his work while the second image depicts John and Pat on the day that Pat was conferred with an honorary degree from Ulster University Magee Campus in 2010. Framed around these two images are a multitude of tributes to Pat.

The exhibit also features objects belonging to the couple that were hand-picked by their children.

Roberta Bacic, Conflict Textiles Curator, said “We are honoured to present these two stitched and embroidered portraits of John and Pat to the Hume family, the wider Derry community and beyond. It seems the appropriate time and occasion to celebrate their lives and humanity, close to their birthdays. We wanted to acknowledge John and Pat Hume’s absence via the powerful language of textiles; a language we have developed since 2008. As in their lifelong partnership of over 60 years, John and Pat’s presence will confront us, urging us to build on their work towards sustainable peace.”

Dr Colin Davidson, Ulster University Chancellor, who was in attendance at the launch commented: “Art of all mediums has a very powerful role to play in remembering and making sense of the past. I was delighted to unveil these latest textiles that pay such a creative tribute to a couple who brought such positive change to the lives of so many people across these islands. The use of textiles is particularly appropriate because the making of art with our hands has an impact that goes beyond the making of the piece. It has been a privilege to attend the Conflict Textiles exhibit and pay tribute to the Hume family. When I look at these pieces of art I see love, hope, commitment, compassion, empathy and that’s everything that sums John and Pat Hume up. It is an honour for Ulster University to modestly continue John’s legacy through our establishment of the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace on the Magee Campus, held by Professor Brandon Hamber who currently engages in peacebuilding work locally and internationally and indeed through our partnership with the John and Pat Hume Foundation which sees us together reach a new generation of youth leaders.”

Members of the Hume family attended the launch of the John and Pat Hume Commemorative Textiles at the Magee Campus Library, Ulster University. Pictured (L-R) are: Kevin Abbott, Aidan Hume, Mo Hume and Therese Hume. The Commemorative Textiles were commissioned by Conflict Textiles and the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University and celebrate the life and tireless work of John and Pat Hume in contributing to peace in Northern Ireland over several decades

The exhibit is open to the public from the 28 January 2022 to 28 July 2022 and is located on the First Floor of Ulster University Magee Campus Library, Block MM. Members of the public are advised to follow Ulster University’s current Covid guidelines of wearing face coverings and remaining socially distanced while visiting the exhibit.


John Hume Archive on CAIN

CAIN has recently received funding from the Reconciliation Fund to compile a new web resource of speeches, statements, and articles by John Hume during his political career (1964 to 2004).

The work on this project began with a donation of source materials that Sean Farren had collected during the research on his book: Farren, Sean. (Ed.) (2017). John Hume: In his own words. The Chair wrote a Foreword for the book.

The new project was funded (in December 2019) by the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dublin. The on-going work on this project is being carried out by Martin Melaugh. The initial working project page can be viewed here.

Launch BBC Troubles Archive

On 8 November 2019, the Chair worked with the BBC Rewind team to launch on the Magee Campus the  Ten Chapters Of The Northern Ireland Troubles’. The Ten Chapters, produced by the BBC Rewind editorial and technology team, is an online, multi-media series of episodes covering the conflict in Northern Ireland from the 1950s to the 1990s. As part of the launch a workshop was run with 14-22 year olds from the City.

The Ten Chapters of the Northern Ireland Troubles can be accessed here.

The BBC project came about as a result of discussions with the INCORE/CAIN project teams at Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast, and as part of the tripartite agreement between the BBC and the academic institutions. The CAIN team identified ten broad themes which the BBC’s Rewind team researched then curated and compiled videos and imagery from BBC News NI’s newly-digitised archive. Where appropriate, stills and video from other broadcasters have been incorporated. Designed primarily for those aged 14 and older, the resource can be used in addition to academic resources. It was created independently by the BBC in line with its editorial guidelines and was reviewed for historical accuracy by INCORE/Ulster University academics.

Civil Rights: Lessons Ireland and US

On 16 November 2018, the Chair hosted a seminar on the Magee Campus that focused on “Civil Rights: Lessons from Ireland and US”. It was a timely seminar in that it considered over 50 years on what had been achieved in since the civil rights movements in the US and also in Ireland.

Dr Andrew Williams, Director of HECUA, speaking on civil rights in the US

The main speaker at the seminar was Andrew Williams, Director of HECUA. HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs) trace back to the 1968 unrest in North Minneapolis following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The urgency and turbulence of the situation prompted Ewald (Joe) Bash, National Youth Director of the American Lutheran Church, and Joel Torstenson, an Augsburg College sociology professor, to build a unique program for college students to understand the nature of the urban crisis. INCORE, under the management of the Chair, partners with HECUA each year to teach and place US students in Derry-Londonderry each year.

To this end, Andrew made the perfect speaker to reflect on the ongoing challenges, particularly in the US, with regard to race. A black person is killed by the state or state-sanctioned violence in the US every 28 hours noted Andrew. One of the most striking quotes Andrew spoke to and developed was ““…because white men can’t police their imagination, black men are dying” (Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric).

Professor Paul Arthur responding to Dr Andrew Williams

On the day Professor Paul Arthur, Professor Emeritus of INCORE and Ulster University, also shared his views and personal experience about the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. He responded to Andrew’s talk noting that rof Paul Arthur says three words that stuck out were “wounded justice”, “indifference” and “mid-wife”. The hope lies in the growth of civil society that can be the “mid-wife” entrenching civil rights.