At home with Irish Travellers
Long considered as "outsiders" or "strangers" in their own country, the Travellers depicted in this book were essential agents in their own depiction; they were the drivers for these cultural representations of their own community. Paul Harrison's photos are beautiful because they are arresting. They show us a "hidden Ireland", one that is often relegated to the societal margins. They haunt the viewer. They interrogate the notion of what it means to be human. The late-twentieth century has witnessed a particular prominence assigned to the discourses of "difference" and "Otherness", discourses which subvert hegemonically-defined representations and demystify what was once simple domination and reification. Representations of cultural minorities, whether literary or visual, play a profound role in how groups such as Irish Travellers are defined and treated by the non-Traveller community. Essentialist notions of migrants and other traditionally-nomadic peoples have a long and complex history. The history of Irish Traveller is no different. For hundreds of years they have en-numerated the projective function of the "Othering" process, a form of rejection and marginalisation that was the institutionalization of ideas and images.
Micheal O'hAodha (editor), Paul Harrison (editor)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
All rights the author
Micheal O'hAodha (editor), Paul Harrison (editor), “Traveller Friends ,” TravellerCollection.ie, accessed November 21, 2019, https://travellercollection.omeka.net/items/show/64.