Awakening From History

Posted on January 2, 2009


This is a powerful and moving radio documantary about an Irish Australian radio producer trying to come to grips with his location in history and what it’s meant for him personally. He recounts experiences of violence in his life both as a victim and as someone who became violent. His candour is sometimes difficult to listen to, but it’s what grounds this piece in reality.

I find it important to think about these issues given today’s events in Gaza and the awful violence which has engulfed that densly populated piece of the planet. What happens to the victims of this inordinate amount of violence? How long can people live without hope? What do we do to stay human ?

In this piece, story telling is one of the ways explored as an antidote: stories to create connections; stories to transform. I think their power to change things is undeniable.

Radio Eye, ABC Radio National

Finalist – United Nations of Australia Media Peace Prize

Colm McNaughton is a thirty-something Irish Australian, who spent some of his childhood in a Catholic family in Northern Ireland. He returns at the height of the highly charged ‘marching season’ to find out how realistic the peace and reconciliation movement is. He meets and records some heavy characters from both sides of the sectarian divide and confronts the way violence brought trauma into his own life. A tough story which has room for just enough optimism in the midst of the fatalism that still infects the ‘Irish Question’.