UCL Urban Laboratory


How to Build, Use, and Subvert an Archive: interactive workshop

14 June 2023, 3:15 pm

Troops Out Movement

To coincide with our current exhibition 'Testing Ground: Tracing threads of aerial seeing' we are pleased to welcome archivist and researcher Maev McDaid to share rare materials from the Troops Out movement collection currently housed at the MayDay Rooms and recently digitised.

Event Information

Open to







Sophie Mepham – UCL Urban Laboratory


UCL Urban Room
UCL East
1 Pool Street
E20 2AF

This year marks 50 years from when the Troops Out Movement was first formed in West London to bring about the end of British Rule in the North of Ireland. Through the personal collection of campaigner Aly Renwick, and the digitising efforts of Maev McDaid and the MayDay rooms, we are able to appreciate a testimony to decades of grassroots resistance and solidarity amongst British and Irish activists with the aims of "ensuring British Troops Out of Ireland and Self-determination of the Irish People as a Whole". 

We are delighted to host Maev in UCL Urban Room to learn about the significance of this collection and how the transition from ephemeral material to digital archive creates powerful opportunities for engagement and use. 

Following a description of these materials on display and discussion on the archiving process, we will delve deeper into the ways archive material can be subverted, and the possibilities for new interventions and interpretations such methods can open up.

Henrietta Williams will build on this discussion by walking us through the exhibition 'Treading Ground' (created in collaboration with Merijn Royaards) which weaves archival material gathered from the Imperial War Museum's 'Northern Ireland Collection' against contemporaneous video footage and spatial sound methodology, allowing us a sensory experience of being both complicit in and subject to aerial surveillance.