Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival returns with a mix of live and online events


THE 2021 Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival will showcase the work of human rights defenders in Ireland and around the world, past and present, and the role of the arts and artists in promoting human rights today.

Taking place over 10 days between Friday October 15 and Sunday October 24, the festival aims to share, celebrate and promote the arts for human rights by bringing together artists, activists, citizens, families, communities and all who wish to use the arts to promote equality. for everyone.

The festival is presented by the Smashing Times International Center for the Arts and Equality Dublin and the human rights organization Front Line Defenders, in partnership with Amnesty International, Fighting Words, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, National Women’s Council of Ireland , Trócaire and Poetry Ireland.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Hope, Courage and Resilience: History Continues”, celebrating human rights and connecting the arts with civil society, active citizenship and politics.

The program will include Irish and international artists and guest speakers, with online and in-person events in line with current Covid-19 guidelines. It promises film screenings, theater, music, dance, visual and digital arts, poetry, literature, historical memory, discussions and artistic workshops.

Site specific performances featuring theater, poetry, literature, song, music and dance will be presented alongside digital / film projections on the walls of the Rathfarnham Castle building in Dublin, and it there will also be a creative pop-up installation in the castle grounds.

Theater, dance and music performances will be presented on the rooftop garden of the Chester Beatty Library, an exhibition of visual and cinematic artwork will be presented at the dlr Mill Theater Gallery Space in Dundrum , and a discussion on human rights, poetry and the environment will be held at the NUI Galway Human Rights Center.

Key events include:

:: State of the art: visual art exhibition on the nation-state both offender and protector of human rights (October 15-24).

Presented at the dlr Mill Theater, this exhibition features works of art created by artists from across Ireland who worked together on the State of The Art: Nation State as Both Violator and Protector of Human Rights project. Illustrations are by Dr Sinead McCann, Hina Khan, Amna Walayat, Noelle McAlinden.

:: The art of rights: a literary carnival of arts and rights (23-24 October)

A series of new works of art will be on display in the grounds of Rathfarnham Castle to create a ‘gathering space’ to celebrate stories of care and compassion and to act as a catalyst to generate creative conversations about the visions of a better world.

The works will include large-scale projections on the walls of Rathfarnham Castle, as well as performances in the field. There will be an open call asking audience members to share who inspired them – someone from the past or present who inspired or shaped them in some way and who promoted equality, compassion and the rights in their lives and the lives of others.

A selection of 100 of these stories and poems will be presented as an online “digital book” through the Smashing Times International Center for the Arts and Equality digital art gallery and platform.

:: Forgotten Voices: Stories of Hope, Courage and Resilience from the Holocaust and WWII

Writer Feilim James has created a new play based on research into the forgotten voices of the Holocaust and WWII, with visual artist and theater designer Aine O’Hara creating a virtual backdrop .

:: The social life of disinformation: a challenge (Tuesday, October 19, 2 p.m.)

In the face of a global disinformation crisis, many journalists and scientists have embraced fact-checking as the solution. Provide the right counter-information, the theory goes, and those who follow QAnon or far-right extremists and spread false information about elections, refugee populations, or Covid will start spreading the right information instead.

Hosted online by Front Line Defenders, this roundtable will discuss the impact of disinformation on social media and in relation to the work of human rights defenders.

:: Disability and the defense of human rights (October 21, 1:30 p.m.)

Human rights defenders around the world can include people with disabilities, and they are vital voices in defending human rights and promoting inclusion, equity and justice.

Hosted online by Front Line Defenders, panelists will share their experiences, explore how the dominant culture of ‘ableism’ creates challenges and how assumptions about disability prevent human rights defenders from being fully visible in their work. .

“Last year, the festival was held entirely online due to Covid-19 and we attracted over 10,000 spectators,” says festival artistic director Mary Moynihan.

“This year, we are delighted that the festival features online and in-person events in accordance with current Covid-19 guidelines, and will facilitate the opportunity to share, celebrate, remember, explore, provoke and promote the arts for rights of man.

“The festival is an opportunity to bring together artists, activists, citizens, families, communities and all those who wish to use the arts to celebrate and promote human rights and equality for all.

“We want to use the arts to create conversations about what matters in our lives today. There will be theatrical performances, film screenings, documentaries, music, dance, visual and digital arts, poetry, literature, historical memory, discussions and the arts workshops, featuring Irish and international artists and guest speakers celebrating and promoting the dignity and respect of all equally.

“The festival will witness and remember the past, explore the present and celebrate the future of equality and rights for all, highlighting the role that artists can play in a new society.

“We hope everyone will join us in this celebration of the arts and human rights.”

:: See smashingtimes.ie for the latest festival information


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