Ed Robbins has made several films about the Iraq war — including one from the perspective of American soldiers, and one about Iraqi refugees. He recently visited Pittsburgh to discuss the complications of documenting war.
Sam May took an interest in Northern Ireland young. A history buff in school, he participated in Civil War re-enactments and ended up in the 69th Pennsylvania Infantry, a regiment that had been made up of Irish immigrants. His fellow re-enacters introduced him to Irish Rebel songs and Republican ideology — but at the same time Sam was conflicted. He had family links to Ireland — but to Protestant Ireland in the North.
Out of this confusion, Sam started to read up on Irish history, and it led him to Tony Novosel’s class at Pitt. But studying the Troubles hasn’t necessarily made it any easier to stake out opinions about what’s best for Northern Ireland.
It’s Part 2 of the continuing series on American perspectives on the conflict in Northern Ireland. This time it’s Kelly Cullen, a senior at Pitt and a marine reservist, who explains why he took such an interest in the Troubles + what he learned from studying it.
Partly it’s a heritage thing for Kelly, having grown up in an Irish American family. But his interest in Northern Ireland also grows out of his impending deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, and his creative writing projects.