Lost lives

14 - 15 February 2003. City Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland. 20 hours 40 minutes


On the 14th and 15th February 2003, I  started a performance which lasted 20 hours 40 minutes and involved me with the Public’s help writing the names of all the victims of the troubles in chalk up to that date on the pavement around Belfast City Hall.

There were 3672 names.
At the time allot of our politicians were not even talking to each other. When my work was ending the following day an anti Iraq war rally was taking place this was a poignant moment as it reminded me that war situations lead to many nameless victims and these were the names I was writing on that pavement. We owe and our politicians owe it to all victims to talk and continue to talk until agreement is reached based on mutual respect.

This performance emphasises & acknowledges peacefully the consequences of war. By inscribing names, the performance critically questions reductions of individual causalities to accumulated numbers.

It is a memorial, a personal address, a question?

Lost lives. McKittrick
Lost Lives. The stories of the men, women and children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland troubles.
By David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney and Chris Thornton (1999).
More about the book.

Related work:
Make it matter
Absent present
Healing and soothing without dialogue