Storytelling at the Museum and Heritage Sites is a one-day online event organised by Imagine, Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics. The event, which happens on the 26th March, brings together four case studies to ‘show how personal stories can engage with people emotionally across time and space and across different cultures.’ 

Storytelling has always been an accessible way to connect us and to bring our past to life as well as allowing the audience to engage emotionally. The four case studies featured in the workshop will include research projects in collaboration with Titanic Belfast, Prisons Memory Archive, and Ulster Museum. 

A variety of speakers will discuss how they have found the act of storytelling to be beneficial within their own projects. Speakers at the event include Dr Conor McCafferty, Xi Wang, Rui Sun and Sarah McDonagh. Dr McCafferty was the Project Manager of Visual Voices of the Prisons Memory Archive (2016-2020). The PMA is a collection of 160 walk-and-talk recordings with people connected to places such as the Armagh Gaol, The Maze and Long Kesh during the ‘Troubles’. Connor will be discussing how the project used the life-storytelling approach as a key part of its ethical framework.

Sarah McDonagh, a doctoral researcher at Queen’s University, Belfast will be discussing the
Prisons Memory Archive project from an accessibility aspect, focusing on societies emerging on conflict. McDonagh’s research focuses on audio-describing the Prisons Memory Archive’s (PMA) video tours of the Maze and Long Kesh prison for primarily blind and partially sighted audiences across Northern Ireland.

Rui Sun is a PhD candidate in translation studies at the School of Arts and will be discussing ‘…issues of representation and the ways in which museums are responding to the changing expectations of visitors [and]… how to retell stories of the Troubles through translation in a way that meet the needs of international visitors.’

Finally, Xi Wang is a Marie Curie Early-Stage researcher at Queens University, Belfast and is studying for a PhD in translation studies at School of Arts, English and languages. Xi Wang will be hosting a talk on storytelling in the context of museum accessibility and how it can generate emotional engagement, enhance learning and inspire imagination. The talk will explore storytelling as an access approach for people with various capabilities. The multisensory smart map of Titanic’s Maiden Voyage will be shown and discussed as a case study.

Storytelling in Museums and Heritage Sites will take place on Friday 26th March from 10.30am – 11.30am and is free of charge. To register your place or for more information visit and search for Storytelling in Museums and Heritage.