Until alarmingly recently, the Catholic Church, acting in concert with the Irish state, operated a network of institutions for the concealment, punishment and exploitation of ‘fallen women’. In the Magdalene laundries, girls and women were incarcerated and condemned to servitude. And in the mother-and-baby homes, women who had become pregnant out of wedlock were hidden from view, and in most cases their babies were adopted – sometimes illegally. Mortality rates in these institutions were shockingly high, and the discovery of a mass infant grave at the mother-and-baby home in Tuam made news all over the world. The Irish state has commissioned investigations. But the workings of the institutions and of the culture that underpinned it – a shame-industrial complex – have long been cloaked in secrecy and silence. Teresa Lavina and Nova Productions voice the experiences of Irish institution survivors and focus on the life and upbringing of one survivor in particular, Anne Silke, in this moving and raw documentary, Untold Secrets.
Anne’s son, Sean will join us for a Q&A after the screening as part of the Brendan Fahy Bequette Series. Admission is $10 for museum members or $15 for nonmembers.