Taking the Ferry

The Taking the Ferry project is an invitation to collaborate in the creation of a sound recording that seeks to acknowledge the thousands of people who have had to take the ferry from Ireland to the UK to end a pregnancy. It seeks to add to the wonderful and growing body of performance and artworks that already raise awareness of women’s reproductive rights in Ireland.

What would delays and bad weather mean for the people who have to travel to the UK for an abortion? When has the ferry crossing offered temporary relief from external pressures? And how many times have sea-legs staggered into Holyhead or Liverpool on their way to somewhere else?

The Taking the Ferry project aims to perform an historical acknowledgement of Irish abortion journeys, without asking any one person to share a story. It does not seek autobiographical accounts but instead aims to observe that these crossings continue to happen on the sea. Are there ways to perform resistance without relying on people who have undertaken to journey themselves to rehearse their personal stories in public?









Panel 1


My name is Evelyn O’Malley and I’m an Irish researcher and performance-maker, working in the department of Drama at the University of Exeter. I’m interested in how theatre and performance interact with climate, weather and nature. For the Taking the Ferry project, I am making an audio recording of spoken extracts from newspaper clippings about bad weather, weather reports, ferry cancellations and ships logs to raise awareness about women’s reproductive rights in Ireland.

You can read more about my research and writing here.






Panel 2

How to participate?

Anyone who would like to contribute to this collaborative project by recording a few seconds of their own voice speaking words from texts of ferry cancellations, weather reports, and daily books from the ferries is very welcome. Whether or not you have undertaken this journey yourself, you are invited to add your voice and speak aloud words from weather reports, ferry logs, delays and cancellations.

You can contribute anonymously or you can add your name so that it is listed with the artwork. Your voice can be distorted if you would prefer.

If you would like to contribute, send me an email address at the contact page below (an email or a postal address if you prefer) and I will send you a piece of text.

Then, you—and anyone you would like to share your text with—can record as few or as many words as you like as a sound file. (This should be easy to do on most mobile phones. If you don’t have access to a recording device, let me know and I will try to arrange something.)

Lastly, return the clip to me at e.omalley@exeter.ac.uk

I am working with the clips to create a soundscape that listeners can access via headphones. The performance will be regularly updated and freely available online to listen to or to exhibit via a Creative Commons license.

I hope that this can be a collaborative project. If you have any queries or suggestions, I would be delighted to hear from you.



Panel 3


This is a contact page with some basic contact information and a contact form.