King's is launching a new exhibition that investigates the societal, personal and political impact of the 1996 IRA Docklands bombing.
A collaboration between Dr George Legg, Teaching Fellow in Liberal Arts at King's and Lucy Harrison, an artist based in London whose work looks at sites and communities in the midst of change, the exhibition features a 30-minute documentary and around 50 photographs of the devastation caused by the blast. Presented at the Republic Gallery in East London, Not a split second; remembering the Docklands bomb aims to start new dialogues with communities local to the bomb site.
The 3,000 pound bomb claimed two lives, injured 40 and caused around £150m in damage. The explosion revealed weaknesses in the London's security apparatuses, prompting a renewed approach to surveillance in the city, and placed further strain on the capital's Irish communities against the otherwise optimistic backdrop of the peace process. The event marked the end of a seventeen month ceasefire, forcing the British government to re-table talks for peace in Northern Ireland.
Six of the victims of the bomb were interviewed, some for the first time, as part of the research behind the exhibition. 'Most of those caught up in the bomb that day were not the well-paid city workers that people may imagine,' said Lucy Harrison, 'The victims were newsagents, security guards and cleaners.'
George and Lucy's approach to the exhibition brought together academic and artistic research methods in response to the contrast between the unwritten memories and the official narratives of an explosion that not only shook the city and increased tensions between its communities but that was loaded with wider political significance.
Not a split second; remembering the Docklands bomb runs at the Republic Gallery, 1 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BE, 31 March – 9 April. The exhibition is open Thursday – Sunday, 12:00 – 18:00 and is free to attend.