Bella Exchange highlights the role of communication systems and technologies in the lives of Diasporic communities in the 21st century. McClean explores the story of her maternal grandmother and great-aunt, Teresa and Ellie O’Connor who in 1909, aged 19 and 20, left Ireland to become Bell telephone operators in Montreal, Canada.
This video work uses archive footage and letters sent back to Ireland, combined with footage of a journey made across the Atlantic on a freight ship to Montreal by the artist in 2006.
Bella Exchange was first premiered at The Void Gallery, Derry in August 2007. Press here for more information.
This video clip is from the archives of The Bell Telephone Company and was used as a recruitment film for operators in 1910.