The trilogy of short films This is What we Call Progress, Can you Hear us Now? and Waiting for Tomorrow reflect on the impact of global migration from the viewpoint of youth living in Fingal with a particular focus on Balbriggan.
The films were developed by an array of young people from Fingal and commissioned under the Infrastructure Fingal County Council’s Public Art programme. Each of the three were co-written and performed by the young people who selected everything from set up to location while assuming the roles of nonprofessional actors to mediate their stories. This public art commission explores how cultural identities are represented in the public realm.
A series of Film Posters advertising the films will celebrate the local participants at prominent billboard sites in Balbriggan. The films can be viewed on http://www.globalmigrationcollective.com/recommends/film-trilogy.
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. David Healy said: “We are very proud of these young people who have chosen, through these films to address historical and global conversations around equality and citizenship they are exemplary Fingal representatives and we hope their message is far reaching”
The films explore concerns expressed by these multi-ethnic youth who are growing up in a time of rapid change in Ireland and Internationally. They drew on source material from history from Frederick Douglas, the civil rights agenda of the 60s and the present-day Black Lives Matter movement, 2020. Through conversations and explorations together and with artist Anthony and The Global Migration Collective wove a series of dialogues into scripts to reveal films that speak to their lived experiences while signaling their hopes for their future.
Public Art Co ordinator Caroline Cowley explained that: “Our Public Art Programme, Infrastructure is committed to the possibilities of art that is socially engaged, Anthony and the Global Migration Collective was awarded under the Co- Production strand which was invitation to work collaboratively across Fingal to develop new narratives about and with our local communities.”
Emer O’ Gorman, Director of Economic, Enterprise, Tourism and Cultural Development, said: “Fingal is a vibrant and diverse county that places great importance on equality and the voices of its young people. Balbriggan is currently undergoing significant and positive changes under the Our Balbriggan programme this project complements the objectives of our recently published countywide arts strategy where we have signaled our commitment to connect people and ideas through the arts placing it at the very centre of our towns and villages.”
In Can you Hear us now? A group of students from Lusk Community College call for equality in the context of a xenophobic Europe. The group researched the writings of Frederick Douglas who travelled to Ireland in 1845 and performed many speeches on emancipation and freedom. Together they carefully transformed these speeches into a conversation between three young women allowing the original texts to convey a message of the right now.
The second film This is What We Call Progress takes the audience to the beautiful red room of the 18th Century, Newbridge House. One of the last custodians of this Anglo-Georgian house was Frances Power Cobbe, who was a writer, social reformer and suffrage campaigner. In this sequence a group of young local women activists from a collective called My Sisters Keeper articulate and assert the positive role that African women have played in feminist discourse and human rights.
The last film sees a group of young men engage in conversation about what is at stake for their generation where they discuss historical speeches and claims for civil rights and equality espoused by Martin Luther King JR, Malcolm X and others. This film Waiting for Tomorrow, set in Balbriggan references Beckett’s seminal play, Waiting for Godot. The waiting in this case points to the existence of a permanent state of crisis were fear and division is continuing to test the patience of so many generations of multi-ethnic communities especially in light of recent Black Lives Matter global protests.
Film Poster Schedule
16th – 29th November, Drogheda Street, Balbriggan
30th Nov – 11th December – Main Street Balbriggan
12th – 25th December – Main Street Balbriggan