Northern Ireland news

Japanese poetic form used to record Irish border life

Contributor Margaret Masaba from Strabane - pictured with project leader, Larua Aguiar and Lynsey Gillespie from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland - said her experience had been "amazing".
Seamus McKinney

STORIES of life along Ireland's 310-mile border have been recorded in a virtual reality film - featuring haiku poems.

Border Sounds, which will be released this Saturday, has been described as a "journey of the border told through the voices of people who live there".

Created as part of the Making the Future cross-border cultural project, it involves 360-degree images of locations on the border, pinpointed on an interactive map, with recorded stories and sounds providing the soundtrack.

Delivered through the Nerve Centre and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), the project is a snapshot of memories and experiences from each contributor.

Contributors were coached in sound recording and creative writing skills while also gaining an understanding of how PRONI worked. They were then asked to select a meaningful location and to write a haiku, a type of short form poetry.

Contributor Margaret Masaba said her experience had been amazing.

"I’ve met wonderful people who have taken me through a journey of virtual reality which I knew nothing about. The highlight of the project is that we get to share with you the sounds of everyday life at the border and to share our stories,” Ms Masaba said.

Project leader Laura Aguiar said it had been a privilege to make the border stories accessible in a collaborative and immersive way.

"The haikus and sounds created by our wonderful participants will give audiences a plural snapshot of everyday life on both sides of this invisible border," she said.

Border Sounds along with the accompanying website featuring an interactive map, will be launched on Making the Future’s website ( on Saturday.

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