Gone but not Forgotten – Leagacy of Community Arts 2016


Place: Institute for Lifecourse & Society, North Campus, Daingean, NUI Galway, Galway City.

Date: October 17th at 6pm (Evening only) and
October 18th from 10.00am to 4.30pm.

Legacies of community arts and culture as agency for social justice and transformation now

The community arts work undertaken in Ireland in the 1970s, 80s and 90s fomented new forms of empathy, resistance and solidarity. An event in October will explore the legacies and collective memories of this field of practice and will be accompanied by a set of Legacy Papers.

Following up on the challenge from Claiming Our Future’s Broken Politics event it seems timely to look back and to amplify how community arts and cultural work can be mobilised in and through civil society, in order to forge a synchronised network of activists and practitioners.


This event is free but places are limited and must be booked by October 7 (Friday), 2016. Bookings can be made by emailing your details to: legacyevent@gmail.com

Monday 17th October at 6pm
Whose interests are addressed in the aesthetics and validation of documentation in community arts and media?
In this session we will consider who benefits from documentation in community arts and media and how documentation can create deeper connections between diverse practices. Participants are invited to bring along resources related to arts and culture in and with communities during the 1970s, 80s and 90s, from which artist Fiona Woods will establish a Living Archive reading room to photograph and log these materials. Activist film maker, Paula Geraghty will explore questions such as: who is all this work for; how do we share what we create; how can we hold the memories; and how can documentation assist people newly working in the aesthetics of resistance.

Tuesday 18th October at 10am
Where is community arts positioned as an artistic tradition within civil society and what is its agency today?
A panel of practitioners drawn from the cultural, community and youth work fields will examine the sustainability of community arts traditions and the impetus for cultural democracy at governmental level. The implementation of Culture 2025, and the Policy Framework for Local and Community Development are important opportunities, but can community arts find its agency therein? Invited to assist in our exchange are, artist, Fiona Woods, art historian, Catherine Marshall, artist, Deirdre O’Mahony, artist and Director of Create, Ailbhe Murphy, as well as organisations Community Work Ireland, and Claiming Our Future’s Declaration for a New Republic.

Tuesday 18th October at Midday
How do we create new channels for community culture to address human and cultural rights and solidarity?
The institutionalisation of the field of practice previously described as community arts has, it is argued, regulated and disciplined the practice, shaping an outcomes-based mentality. In the face of civil disasters such as austerity, the migrant crisis, environmental degradation and the decline of public services, this session will consider bottom-up networks and projects that offer non-institutional approaches through practices at community level, in fields as diverse as environmental destruction; local tragedies; urban regeneration; accommodation structures for refugees; Claiming Our Future’s Declaration for a New Republic; and the United States Department of Arts and Culture

Tuesday 18th October at 2 pm
A deliberation focused on continuity and commitment to grow a synchronised network of living practices.

1. How do we imagine a platform for solidarity and communication?
2. How can cultural work take forward some of the themes emerging from this event?

A creative team has come together to accompany our exchanges, led by Brian Fleming who has invited Catherine Young, Sean Millar, Sharon Murphy and Florian Blanche too.

The event is convened by a number of individuals, and groups including, ALa Theatre Group, Blue Drum, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway, Galway City Community Network, Lacuna reading group, Third Space Galway.

Website: LegacyPapers