Artists join forces to put a spotlight on human rights

Donal O'Kelly in Bat the Father Rabbit the Son. He will be one of the artists taking part in the Arts Festival in solidarity with Nicaragua this Saturday in Kinvara.
Donal O'Kelly in Bat the Father Rabbit the Son. He will be one of the artists taking part in the Arts Festival in solidarity with Nicaragua this Saturday in Kinvara.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Poets, theatre makers and musicians are gathering in Kinvara’s Courthouse art space this Saturday for an arts festival in solidarity with people who are experiencing repression in Nicaragua.  The event will also highlight the fact that the Central American’ country’s famous Festival Internacional De Poesia De Granada has had to be cancelled this year because of State repression – 300 hundred people have died in violence in Nicaragua in recent times.

Participants include poet Rita Ann Higgins, Catherine Ann Cullen, Lorna Shaughnessy, Helen Dixon (Nicaragua UK) and Sarah Clancy; theatre-makers; Donal O’Kelly and Little John Nee, musician Jayro Gonzalez (Nicaragua); journalists and authors Michael McCaughan and Betty Purcell; and ‘Brigadistas’ Molly O’Duffy, Mags Brehony and Mercedes Varona who have volunteered in Nicaragua.

All taking part in this mini-festival have connections with Nicaragua and were supporters of the Sandinista revolution which, in 1979, led to the overthrew of the Somoza dictatorship there.

Initially, the Sandinistas oversaw huge changes in the distribution of land and resources in favour of ordinary Nicaraguan people.

In recent years however, the regime of President Daniel Ortega and his wife and Vice-President Rosario Murillo, has become increasingly repressive.

Dissent has been silenced and hundreds have been killed and imprisoned – in April 2018, State forces and paramilitary organisations working in tandem with the State brutally quashed street protests.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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