After a successful launch at the London Irish Centre in October 2016, #IamIrish spread its wings and made its debut in Dublin’s fair city in celebration of Black History Month 2017.
Inspired by a persisting lack of representation of the mixed race Irish experience, Lorraine Maher launched the project to celebrate a more diverse representation of Irish identity and to question the concept of ‘Irishness’ and what that means for Irish communities today. This project maps the roots, the lives and experiences of Irish people of mixed heritage creating a unique opportunity to challenge perceptions of what it looks like to be Irish and open up people’s minds to the wonderful diversity of Irish people.
Lorraine collaborated with photographer Tracey Anderson to make an intimate study of the faces, lives and experiences of 22 mixed race Irish people. The series of portraits were exhibited at Axis Arts Centre, Ballymun in October 2017 and were complimented by a series of school and community group visits and a public conversation around exploring perceptions of Colour, Culture, Identity, Heritage and the challenges faced in Irish society.
“For mixed race Irish people, in reality our ancestry, our roots, our blood are Irish and we are proud of it.”