Vanguard Voices aims to amplify the voices and commemorate the lives and work of Irish women activists 1900-1923, by inviting people to become immersed in the walking web of locations and stories through the medium of augmented reality.
Inspired by locations that represent events relating to the women, we present the stories and commemorate the lives of Irish republican activists; the Vanguard Voices of Anna Parnell, Jennie Wyse Power and Maud Gonne, through the medium of Augmented Reality and social media, drawing on original sources and primary materials. These include sounds, photographs and text, witness statements, photographs and audio recordings from RTÉ, the Bureau of Military History and the National Library of Ireland.
The locations for Vanguard Voices are: The offices of the Ladies Land League, 39 O’Connell St., where Anna Parnell was President; Wynn’s Hotel, 35 Abbey St. Lwr., where Cumann na mBan was launched in 1914 by women including Jennie Wyse Power; and the rooms of the Celtic Literary Society, 42 Pearse St., the building where Maud Gonne founded Inghinidhe na hÉireann in 1900.
These works form part of an ongoing arts practice collaboration by Claire Fitch, Kelly McErlean and Martina Murray in which images and sounds separated by a century, are drawn together and presented using emerging platforms and technologies.
Gonne, Maud. BMH Voice Recording. Military Archives, Ireland.
Parnell, Anna. The Tale Of A Great Sham. Dublin: Arlen House. 1986
Wyse Power, Nancy. BMH WS 541, Military Archives, Ireland.
Dr Claire Fitch is a sound artist, an electroacoustic composer, a creator of electronic literature and transmedia, cellist and lecturer. Claire completed her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast, Sonic Arts Centre in 2019 with Professor Michael Alcorn. Between 1995 and 2012, she was a cellist in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 Claire began teaching digital audio to students in various colleges around Ireland, joining the staff of Dundalk Institute of Technology in 2015, where Dr Fitch is now Programme Director, MA/MSc in Music Technology. Her artistic practice is motivated by the investigation of the convergence of digital technology, audio, visuals, and text. Producing original works inspired by and responding to the voices of women is a particular focus.
Dr Kelly McErlean. PhD in Visual Culture - National College of Art and Design, Dublin. MA in Mass Communications - Leicester University. HND Computer Studies - Birmingham City University Golden Spiders Award winner 2005 / Digital Media Award winner 2006. Lecturer and Researcher at Dundalk Institute of Technology. Academic writer with Pearson. Developing several interactive film projects and 2 photobooks - 'New York is Purple' and 'Americana - California 1999'. 'Interactive Narratives & Transmedia Storytelling' - published by Routledge (Focal Press) - New York 2018.
Martina Murray, is a writer and historian with a particular interest in feminist campaigns around social change. She is the co-author of Proud to Serve: The Voices of the Women of Cumann na nGaedheal and Fine Gael: 1922-1992 (2021). In highlighting the contribution and achievements of twenty-eight women who had successful political careers with Cumann na nGaedheal and Fine Gael, the book aims to stimulate broader awareness and debate about the role and work of women in Irish political life. Martina currently works as a freelance writer and web editor, and in recent years she has combined this with a role as Social Media Manager for HKM, which publishes titles including Totally Dublin, Dublin Riviera, Totally Cork and Totally Galway. Martina was awarded a BA (Hons) in English and History from the University of Dublin Trinity College in 1990 and an MBS in Human Resource Strategies from Dublin City University 2005. She has also undertaken collaborative projects in the area of diversity and inclusion in Ireland and Europe.