Reading My Way Around the World

Thursday 19 September 2019

New Voices of Ireland

Dublin is a cacophony of sound and the most noticeable thing for me are all the different languages and accents you hear walking down the street.   So an exhibition of immigrant artists and connected themes was a perfect end to our day in the city last week.

New Voices of Ireland is run by the Centre for Creative Practice, an organisation in Dublin who facilitate immigrant artists and local artists working with immigrants, helping them integrate into the arts scene in Ireland and helping them get their work out there. 

The opening speaker Ailbhe Murphy, an Irish gay activist, was very eloquent and asked an interesting question about the word immigrant - if we went to work in New York say, would we be immigrants?  Probably not ... We'd more likely just be people who have moved to NY for work.   So why is it different?  in a country who's people have been so badly treated down through the years as emigrants, why are we so bad at welcoming this new wave of people to our shores.

My friend Csilla from Hungary is a poet and film maker writing in English.   She was one of 10 artists selected for this exhibition and it was a very inspirational evening.  Ranging from a play, a monologue, photography, architecture, film, and a very unusual installation of written words, the show was varied and of the highest standard. 

One who really caught my attention was Nicola Anthony who is based in London, and takes stories from refugees and immigrants and turns them into mini works of art - words carved in bronze, put in a bottle with a clock mechanism and sometimes with sound - I found it incredibly moving.

Nasrin Golden  from Iran, takes items from her home and turns them into large scale photographs that  end up resembling Persian carpets - beautiful work. 

She says: "The project uses images from the past, the longed for. However, they are shaped by the experience of cultivating a new identity in the here and now,  mirroring and duplicating in an attempt to replicate the identity of the observed and create the new. Questioning the order of form in the world around us by surrounding our self with perceptions of our own identity." 

Csilla Toldy presented two short film poems about Belfast - the changing view of the city - an outsider looking in.   They're not up on her website yet, but it was interesting seeing what an newcomer sees of our city - I tend to not see the mundane side of it and only view the nice bits, but she very cleverly highlighted the similarities between the two sides of the still divided town.  This is one of her other short film poems.

Unfortunately I didn't get time to view "Still Waiting for the Summer" by the German film makers Barbara Lubich and Michael Sommermeyer, documenting how a musical group made up of people from several different nationalities, challenged the very strong right wing element present in Dresden where they all live.   Well worth watching I'm told.   Over 30% of people in Dresden voted for the right wing Deutschland fur Alles in the last election - a very scary thought.

Wann wird es endlich wieder Sommer / Waiting for the summer's return (Trailer) from hechtfilm - filmproduktion on Vimeo.

All of the pieces presented on the night were very interesting - the other artists were Mirjana Reneduzic an actress from Croatia, Romi Cruanas a theatre director from South America, Leia Mocan who presented several pieces made from recycled waste,  Irish digital artist Joe Ryan who looked at the point when an old building is taken over by a new structure and how it changes the community.

Lots of food for thought.


  1. I wonder why treating immigrants well is such a problem? But, I think it's fear. Fear they're going to change things, and people are fearful of change. So sick of hearing here in the states they're taking your jobs and so you should hate them. Not at all true. But, it sure keeps the hate and fear going. Truly sad.

  2. This sounds wonderful! I was really transfixed by those words in the jars. They are so beautiful! All of these are so thought-provoking.
    There's still Xenophobia rife in all aspects of life- people fear the unknown, as Sandy above says, and I guess, a feeling of the land becoming too crowded, combined with this makes people unwelcoming towards newcomers to the country. If I am honest, in the South-East, I am sick of constant housing estates being built and taken over all the green land and places becoming claustrophobic and crowded and too much traffic and pollution without an infrastructure to support it (I believe a lot of antisocial behaviour is to to with an unconscious crying out for space, solitude and green.) Alot of people would blame immigration for this I suspect. However, this is to do with overpopulation in general, jobs being in particular areas because of transport links, too many vehicles, and a population perhaps having, the big elephant in the room, perhaps too many children but I don't know the exact reasons. It's all too easy to blame immigrants for everything but I'm quite sure all the Brits that move to Spain, for example, wouldn't want to be called immigrants and be made to feel unwelcome in the way that many 'immigrants' are made to feel, and if we lived in places where we couldn't find a job, were in danger, we would all want to move somewhere else. It's all too easy to forget this when life is safe.

  3. By the way, your lovely song you sent me is a brilliant positive message regarding immigration- seeing the brilliance of difference! Made me think of that!


Do drop me a line ... I love to read your comments :)