This page show photos of the totem pole I carved with a mixed culture group of young people at Lurgan YMCA. It tells the story of how young teenagers survived in a very sectarian, divided contested space. Many young lives were oppressed by the violence and sectarian attacks and murders in the town area. The YMCA worked on the divide line offering hope to many young people and building their confidence up so they could chose a better way of life. At the time, I was the CEO and I ran this project as a cross culture initiative and to put the totem pole up in the new youth and community centre which we were building. It captures a moment in time in their lives that will tell their story for generations to come.
The Celtic knots are a sample of the task I set the young people to teach basic carving skills before starting the totem. The young people did help with some carving although most was done be me. I will add the full story behind this project at the bottom soon. If you are ever in Lurgan call into the YMCA as see this 9ft tall totem pole.
The full story will be added here later.