Comhaltas Project - Melbourne Ceili Camera

Melbourne Comhaltas Project

Interviews for the Melbourne Comhaltas Oral History Project are underway now and are expected to continue until late 2018. If you are interested in being involved, or for more information about the project, please contact Adam at adam@melbourneceilicamera.org - or use the "Contact" link at the top of the page.

Comhaltas, established in 1951, is a worldwide organisation celebrating and promoting Irish music, dance, language and culture.

The Melbourne Comhaltas branch was founded in 1970 and will thus celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020. The Melbourne membership is wide and varied, with people aged from 20 to 90, and every age in between. There are musicians and there are dancers. There are men and there are women. There are Irish expats, and there are locals,  from many different parts of the folk spectrum. All, though, share an interest in keeping the Irish traditions alive and very much kicking. And all have some sort of story about how they came to be in Melbourne, and how they came to Comhaltas.

The Melbourne Comhaltas Oral History Project aims to collect those stories, through recorded interview, and present them, along with a portrait of each individual, in a high-quality book format and online. The focus is on as wide a variety of ordinary members and associates as possible from as many different backgrounds as possible.

The intent of this project is to collect the stories of the people who make up Melbourne Comhaltas, rather than to write a history of the group itself. While the focus is on participants’ connections to Melbourne Comhaltas, the project also aims to capture the wider stories of who the people are: how they grew up, how they came to be involved with the music and, for the expats, how they came to be in Australia. In this regard the project also explores wider themes of immigration, heritage and culture. 

Adam Purcell - owner and photographer for Melbourne Ceili Camera - is the author of the Melbourne Comhaltas Project. He is interested in interviewing  anyone who has, or has had, some sort of connection with Melbourne Comhaltas. 

If you are interested in being involved, or for more information about the project, please contact Adam at adam@melbourneceilicamera.org - or use the "Contact" link at the top of the page.

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Melbourne Ceili Camera:  Images of Irish, Scottish, Celtic and Folk gigs, sessions, dances, bands and festivals, with a Melbourne focus. Photography (c) 2015-18 Adam Purcell.

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