The 1916 Rising is the pivotal yet highly contested moment in Irish history when militant republicans sought to seize political power from Britain, and declared - though unsuccessfully in the short term - an independent state. Credited with inspiring independence movements in other former colonies, the Rising has been the subject of histories from the political to the literary. Yet, the rich variety of objects and images associated with the Rising - from buttons and medals to souvenir postcards - have not formed a focus of academic research.
This volume of essays will examine the material and visual culture of the Rising to consider how these illuminate changing ways of engaging with and understanding this iconic event. Family keepsakes such as autograph books from Frongoch internment camp, informal souvenirs such as pieces of rubble from Dublin's General Post Office, and `official' souvenirs such as photo booklets each played a significant role in the construction of individual and collective memory. In placing material and visual culture centre stage, this book will examine how the spaces, objects and images associated with the Rising are caught up in processes of identity production in both public and private space as changing socio-political conditions generated new understandings of 1916 and its aftermath.
It addresses the `things' of 1916 not as mere illustrations of history, but as having agency and effect on material practices central to contested concepts of identity and the creation of social memory.