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All photos on left: Gerri Moriarty

Dry-stone wall sculpture 'Plowterin' - Scots/Irish for wandering mindfully

'Talking Stanes' on the Falkland Estate, Fife, Scotland 

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International Work

Gerri has worked in many international contexts including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, New Zealand, India, Japan and Turkey.


Gerri spent several years working in countries in East Africa In Ethiopia, she worked with Adugna, a young people’s contemporary and Ethiopian dance company founded by Royston Maldoom and Mags Byrne. Gerri trained the company in community theatre and Forum Theatre techniques and helped them to deliver projects throughout the country. One of the most challenging of these involved using theatre as a training tool with members of the Ethiopian Police Service.


She worked for the British Council in Oman, exploring the theme of leadership using drama techniques with an all-female group of trainee teachers.  Participants were very enthusiastic about the potential of drama in teaching and learning and used the opportunity to develop a range of approaches for the class-room.


 In Malta, Gerri worked on a collaborative project between women from three domestic abuse refuges in Malta, the Maltese Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the British Council. Participants created and performed a piece of theatre which examined the challenges women faced in having the abuse they faced taken seriously by the police, their neighbours and their families.


Theatre Work in Belfast

Acts of Resilience

This project began as a response to questioning whether much of the discourse about the ‘Troubles’ – the conflict in the North of Ireland – was being dominated by the memoirs of politicians and by the work of creative artists attracted by stories of major traumatic experiences, like the Hunger Strike and the Omagh bombing. Gerri was interested in smaller stories, in the everyday stories of how people had survived, found hope, explored ways to move forward.


She read about resilience theory, which is based on the principle that all people have the ability to overcome adversity and to succeed despite it. It is a strengths and assets based model; it looks at how people support themselves and each other and at the opportunities open to them to do so, rather than trying only to eliminate those elements which cause failure.  

This was the starting point for ‘Acts of Resilience’, but it soon developed an emergent life of its own. It involved running workshops in story-telling and writing with adults in a series of workshops for adults in Woodstock Library in East Belfast and Ormeau Library in South Belfast and for young people from all over the city, with the support of a small voluntary Steering Group and project partners, LibrariesNI and Opportunity Youth. New poems, inspired by the contributions of workshop participants, were commissioned from Moyra Donaldson and Damian Gorman and a DVD commissioned from Richard Summerville from Pixelbrix. 

The DVD, which reflects the overall creative process and explores the idea of resilience in many different kinds of moments of crisis, includes the commissioned poems and excerpts of workshop participants’ writing. A small number of copies of the DVD are available for groups or individuals wishing to develop their own work on resilience.