An Agreement of Silence

A video artwork created and directed by artist Sinead McCann

An evocative story of female experience and sexuality, emotion and shame, secrets and lies, loss and labor, hope and defiance within the power of church and state relations in Ireland. A moving blend of monologue, dance, music and song, An Agreement of Silence explores the eye opening experiences of women who spent time in the former Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, and the alliance of the church, the state and the broader community in the confinement, exploitation and abuse of women in these institutions. Informed by archival sources and the oral histories of survivors and their families.


A really powerful, moving and beautiful work. The script, costume, choreography and cinematography are stunning.
Audience Member

An Agreement of Silence, was commissioned by Smashing Times International Center for Arts and Equality with further funding from the Arts Council of Ireland. It was presented as part of the Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival. The Council of Europe as part of To Be Irish series – a celebration of the lives and legacies of Irish women at home and abroad, hosted a special screening of An Agreement of Silence followed by an artist’s talk in the European Court of Human Rights at the Council of Europe Strasbourg.

Monologue by writer Feilim James. Movement Direction: Kate Finnegan with dancers; Siobhan O’Connor, Vitor Bassi, Mufrao Gambe. Voice by Michelle Costello. Music by Elkin. Editing by Sixbetween.

Running time 14 minutes

Image credit: Artist Sinead McCann, An Agreement of Silence (2021), video still courtesy of the artist

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