Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival 2021

Hope, Courage, Resilience: The story continues
15 October 2021 to 24 October 2021
Dublin and Online
The Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival is an annual festival, operating since 2019.
Each year, the festival celebrates the arts and creatively promotes human rights, equality and social justice. The festival links the arts to civil society, active citizenship and politics through performances, film screenings, music, dance and arts-based workshops, featuring guest speakers and panel discussions celebrating and promoting dignity and respect for all people equally. 

In 2019, Smashing Times and Front Line Defenders partnered with Trinity College Dublin, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Trócaire and Fighting Words, and is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Communicating Europe Initiative 2019, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Reconciliation Fund, Europe for Citizens and Erasmus+, to host the festival which ran from 19 to 29 September at a range of venues including the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Science Gallery Dublin, dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum, Buswells Hotel, EU House and more. View the 2019 programme here.

In 2020, the festival moved online, and in partnership with Amnesty International Ireland, Fighting Words, Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), Trocaire, and creative partners Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Poetry Ireland, dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum, TheatreMaker.ie, and Trinity College Dublin, presented its events from 16 to 25 October to an international audience of over 10,000. View the 2020 programme here.

The company has established an Arts and Human Rights network and an Artist Professional Development programme. The European network had its inaugural meeting on 20 October 2020 online, as part of the Dublin Arts and Human Rights festival with 100 artists and organisations registered. The meeting was a great success with special guest speakers, presentations and forum discussions.

Artists and Guest Speakers at the first network meeting  included Dijana Milosevic, Dah Theatre, Serbia; Dr Eric Weitz, Smashing Times; Frédérique Lecomte, Theatre & Reconciliation, Belgium; Áine O’Hara, theatre maker; Hina Khan, visual artist; Linda Greene, Kildare Traveller Action; Dr Rajinder Singh, choreographer, artist; Melissa Bonotto, Children’s Rights Lead at the Museum of Childhood Ireland Project; John Scott, Irish Modern Dance Theatre; Tara Madden, Front Line Defenders; Martin Beanz Warde, comedian; Keelin Murray, Create; Colm O’Gorman, Amnesty International, and Noelle McAlinden, visual artist, curator, creative adviser.

The Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival 2021 will take place from Friday 15 October to Sunday 24 October and promises to include an exciting blend of in-person and online events, reaching audiences locally, nationally and internationally. Our events will include theatre, visual arts, music, panel discussions, presentations, and more, all linked by the common goal of promoting human rights and justice for all. The festival will be curated by Mary Moynihan, Artistic Director, Smashing Times with Tara Madden from Front Line Defenders working as co-curator in relation to human rights. 

Key events from the 2020 festival include:

EU1979: A People’s Parliament Virtual Exhibition, an interdisciplinary virtual art exhibition remembering and celebrating the 67 powerful women MEP’s elected to the 1979 first European parliamentary elections. Alongside the stories and biographies of the 67 women, this exhibition features a range of artworks created in response to and inspired by the names and stories of those women elected.

Emotional Landscapes Virtual Exhibition. The title for this unique virtual visual art and multi-disciplinary exhibition ‘Emotional landscapes’ was created by artist Noelle McAlinden from a series of creative conversations with writer, theatre and film-maker Mary Moynihan. The conversations continued, to encompass the work of visual artist Hina Khan, violinist and composer Lisa McLoughlin-Gnemmi, writer and choreographer Fiona Bawn Thompson and poet and writer Féilim James, bringing together different artists who, each in their own way, were responding to the changing emotional landscapes of our evolving world. This exhibition includes the poem-film In Time, written by Mary Moynihan after experiencing a serious form of Covid-19, with performances by Carla Ryan and Kwasie Boyce, and original score composed and performed by Lisa McLoughlin-Gnemmi.


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