I BELIEVE PEOPLE SHOULD BE FREE TO TELL THEIR ENTIRE STORY WITHOUT FEAR OF INTIMIDATION AND CRIMINALISATION FROM THE STATE.

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The Redress Board promised to provide a safe and healing environment where survivors of abuse, (who were abused as children while resident in industrial schools, reformatories and other institutions subject to state regulation or inspection) could tell of their experiences.  Yet this was not the case. During hearings survivors had to face an array of people, sometimes up to a dozen.  These were lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, and even members and representatives of religious orders, who interrogated survivors. Survivors experienced the hearings as adversarial, intimidating, intrusive and traumatic.

Accepting compensation involved signing a 'gagging' clause with very wide application. This gagging order poses a threat of criminalization to survivors if they publish about their experiences, thus continuing a regime of silencing and intimidation.

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During this exhibition I imagined questions I felt would be asked of survivors during hearings like those of the Residential Institutions Redress Board.

REDRESS STATE - QUESTIONS IMAGINED took place for five hours a day for over 9 days at the 126 Gallery Galway 2010.

Images by Johnny Salmon
Click images to enlarge