Clifden Arts Festival celebrates being anchored in community


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Clifden Arts Festival celebrates being anchored in community Clifden Arts Festival celebrates being anchored in community

The theme of this year’s Clifden Arts Festival, which will run from September 18-29, is ‘Anchor’, as the event acknowledges the role of the arts in grounding communities, offering people stability and embracing diversity.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Bill O’Leary, Booker winner Paul Lynch, and Traveller activist and storyteller Oein DeBhairduin are among the participants at the festival which will feature exhibitions, concerts, theatre, spectacle, workshops and discussions with writers, poets and thinkers.

The talks will include one with Bill O’Leary, a photo-journalist with The Washington Post, who will explore the issue of truth in media.

He played a crucial role in the newspaper’s award-winning coverage of insurrection at the US Capitol by Trump’s supporters on January 6, 2021.

His evocative photographs, which captured the chaos and intensity of that historic day, featured on the front page of The Post and were instrumental in Pulitzer committee’s decision to honour the newspaper.

Bill O’Leary will discuss the power and responsibility of the photojournalist in documenting reality – something that seems more important by the day.

From closer to home, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Galway, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, will speak on Beyond Anxiety: Reflections on our Current Predicament. Professor Ó Tuathaigh has previously stated that history is not linear and those at his talk can expect an informed and considered insight into the current state of the world.

Traveller activist, educator and writer Oein DeBhairduin from Tuam will talk about his book, Twiggy Woman, sharing his experiences of life in the Traveller community and his work to gain recognition and respect for that community’s social and cultural heritage.

This year’s music line-up will include Limerick band Hermitage Green, known for their uplifting and escapist sounds, while the festival will welcome back renowned fiddle player, Martin Hayes, a leading exponent of Irish music.

Indie Cork band The Burma will make their first appearance at Clifden, with the three-piece performing rock and roll that has been inspired by the American indie scene of the early 2000s and British guitar bands of the 1980s and 1990s.

Pictured: Traveller writer, activist and educator Oein DeBhairduin with Michaela Lynch, Anna Prendergast, Micheal Murphy and Hugh Gavin from Claddaghduff National School, at the launch of the Clifden Arts Festival programme. PHOTO: ANDREW DOWNES.


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