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Billy's Museum, video portrait of specific historic act, site and context. 4:3 20mins. 2 channel audio 2004.

 

 

Billy Hull was the longest serving security prison officer (25 years) at The Maze/Long Kesh Prison, situated outside Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Over 15 years and against prison policy, Billy collected items relating to various individuals, incidents and occurrences. Billy's Museum is a record of a presentation he was given permission to make in the Maze at the time of his retirement.

 

 
      Billy Hull, entrance to Long Kesh Compound. 2000.
 

 

"My instructions from the powers to be was destroy it, no evidence, everything must be destroyed. But at the back of my mind I kept saying ´It's terrible that things like this should be destroyed, it should be kept. So I kept them, and I kept them locked away in one of the compounds in Long Kesh, for fifteen years. And I kept changing the locks so that nobody could get into it.

And in the end the prison's starting to wind down and being really interested to put the stuff on show I took it upon myself to approach a new security governor who had just arrived at the Maze I asked if he would give permission to bring out the stuff that we had hid in the Maze. He allowed a building, which was called the laundry, the old laundry building inside Long Kesh to be used for to put on a demonstration. And I was given the time for to do that, I was in my element then, this was me really going to war on what I had collected over the years. [...]

It was tradition in the prison service that there was never ever any evidence [of the] things that went on, everything was destroyed. The prison was taboo, and nothing was released, and nothing was told about what went on in prisons. Nobody knew ever, what went on in prison, only those people who worked in it. And for to take the risk and store stuff that should have been destroyed. You know sometimes I break into sweat thinking about it. Keeping journals, keeping records, keeping items that were found that were supposed to be destroyed, it doesn't bare thinking about (laughing). The guns that were made in the Maze, they were all supposed to be destroyed but we kept them." Billy Hull, 2003.

Post-production 2017, supported by Outpost, NYC, USA.