CONVERSATIONS (55° 6' 0" North) 2019
Critical Conversations acted as a catalyst for creative discourse supporting fluid interchange between artists, communities and place. This explorative dialogical series took place with a wide range of partners drawn from the cultural, community and voluntary sectors. It aimed to solicit input from an unusually broad set of perspectives, building on existing partnerships and creating new collaborative networks. The programme was developed in collaboration with the Inishowen Development Partnerships (Media Literacy for Migrant Women /Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme) and Voluntary Arts Ireland. It took place in the context of a series of interrelated crises, including Brexit, many of which involve the creation, collapse and reconstitution of borders and boundaries-territorial, socio-spatial and political.
Critical Conversations was also inspired by the fact that radio waves can freely cross borders while territories on either side may remain restricted. Critical Conversations culminated in two public discussion forums alongside a North-55 film screening programme. This encouraged new coalitions, thus creating a cultural corridor where innovative ideas can be articulated across the region.
North-55 are curious about the various interests that converge when an invitation is extended to represent different 'visions' about collaborative art in a border region engaging with artists, cultural practitioners and community groups from diverse backgrounds.
CONVERSATION I Inishowen Development Partnership, Buncrana, Donegal.
In the context of Brexit, these discussions aimed to gain insights into borders globally and involve diverse voices from across the community including women who are new migrants/refugees.
Conversation II Voluntary Arts Ireland, Verbal Arts Centre, Bishop Street, Derry.
These discussions aimed to gain insight into the lived experiences and current realities of communities living in evolving post-conflict society. With a view to capturing the cultural and psychological borders which people encounter on a daily basis.
Film Screening Programme included:
B-239 (2009) film, a collaborative film that transverses the border.
LATITUDE (2017) film screening, a film that traces sociocultural dividing lines cross-border rivers.
DE/CONSTRUCTING BORDERS - What is Sanctuary? (2020), further examined the vital role that socially-engaged art can play in promoting social justice, interculturalism and human rights through the lens of art, activism and cultural practice.
Inishowen Development Programme, Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme, Voluntary Arts Ireland, Donegal Women’s Centre.
CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS was funded by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.