Inspired by a persisting lack of representation of the Black Irish experience, Lorraine Maher began a journey to uncover and celebrate a more diverse representation of Irish identity, questioning the notions of ‘Irishness’ and what that means for Irish communities today.
#IamIrish embraces the collective mixed-race experience of Irish heritage in all its diversity
This journey led her to collaborate with photographer Tracey Anderson to create an exhibition #Iamirish this series of portraits – an intimate study of the faces, lives and experiences of 22 Irish people, all of whom happened to be Mixed Race.
Launching the #IamIrish exhibition with a series of workshops at the London Irish Centre to celebrate Black History Month 2016, #IamIrish created a powerful opportunity to weave the celebrations of Black and Irish heritage together and put diversity in full focus.
The #IamIrish exhibition then spread its wings and made its debut in Dublin’s fair city at Axis Arts in celebration of Black History Month 2017. Extending its reach to include, work with, schools, universities and community groups .
The project attracted huge interest capturing the imagination of people in the UK, Ireland and internationally. It sparked creative conversations and connections far beyond the project and the Black Irish experience.
2018 saw a partnership with Cuala Foundations’ NY Festival 2018 and the New York Irish Centre. To celebrate the launch of our work in New York, we added to our collection, introducing images of Irish Americans taken by Jillian Freyer.
Later the same year #IamIrish was invited to exhibition at the Galway Arts Center by Galway antiracism network, successfully creating a localised offer, before heading back to London in time for the St Patricks day Festival 2019, proudly making an appearance at London City Hall the home of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly .
Since its birth, #IamIrish has grown to become an international movement, exploring perceptions of Colour, Culture, Identity Heritage and Irishness.
Our work today includes
Grassroots work in the community including support services , an online platform and monthly meet ups
Events, Creative workshops, Podcasts, vox pops and live online events
Consultation, Training and Strategic support targeted at organisations wanting to improve diversity, inclusion and representation
#IamIrish is an independant Not for Profit Company, It is for the best part unfunded and run by volunteers.
If you would like to support us or get involved please do get in touch via our contacts page .
We Connect , We Support , We Challenge , We Highlight , We Train , We Advocate We Celebrate