Explore Belonging in Triskel Christchurch as part of the Festival of Belonging with an exhibition that celebrates the art of refugees in Ireland.
Curated by artist Kasia Nita, the exhibition opened in Triskel Christchurch on Thursday 8 June and runs until Saturday 24 June. Exhibiting Artists are Nasir Elsafi from Sudan; Leanne Mc Donagh, Ireland, Traveller Community; Gregory Kalala, Democratic Republic of Congo; Sobia Rasheed, Pakistan; Elton Sibanda, Zimbabwe; Viktoria Kondratieva, Ukraine; and Juan Carlos Moron from Venezuela.
The festival also includes a spoken word and music concert on Friday 23 June, which includes refugee-writers and poets, including Maged Mujed from Iraq, Basel Alkhalaf from Syria, poetry by Anton Floyd, read by Roos Demol, and musicians Citadel, the band of refugees and International Protection Applicants, and Orba, an Arabesque band from Dublin.
Nasir Elsafi first started painting in 1987, and continued to create art under the Bahir regime in Sudan. His journalistic career and fervent defense of human rights put his life in peril, and he experienced several arrests and threats to his life. Forced to flee Sudan, Nasir settled in Ireland, which was home to several of his favourite writers. Nasir works with oil and acrylic, and several other material, looking “to reach and search for the deep idea and specific goal of the painting”, Elsafi’s work opens the door to the vibrant and diverse culture that is Sudan.
Debuting in 2015, Leanne McDonagh is a multiple award-winning Irish artist, sculptor, illustrator and teacher. A member of the Travelling community, Leanne grew up on a halting site, experiencing first-hand the prejudices and misconceptions that society has about Travellers. Leanne’s work offers a unique opportunity to represent and record her community from within. Leanne also serves as Traveller Education Co-ordinator for MTU, and established the Traveller Graduate Network in 2019.
Originally hailing from DRC, Gregory graduated in 1991 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa. He made Ireland his home in 1999, and engaged on many levels with the Irish community, with a great interest in expressing the intercultural experience. Gregory is the Chairperson of Karibu, a Congolese artists’ network which won the Best Artist Group award at Africa Day 2015. Mr Kalala has exhibited in galleries around Ireland, including Butler Gallery Klikenny 2016- Galway Arts Centre 2000 . Icon Factory 2017 and more.
Born in Pakistan, Sobia studied Arts as an undergraduate and postgraduate, In her work, she engages in painting on canvas using oil, acrylic, and also works in printing making, amongst other mediums. Sobia’s work uses abstract painting to express emotion. Since moving to Ireland, she has found a new angle integrating Pakistani culture into Irish, and propagating the rich, vibrant and colourful Mughal culture. As part of this series, she exhibited “truck Art” last year in Kilkenny culture festival.
A young artist from Zimbabwe, Elton arrived in Ireland with his family after fleeing their country for political reasons. A graduate of MTU-Crawford, he has exhibited in Cork Printmakers and The Lantern Project. Elton works in a variety of mediums, such as oil paint, drawing, ceramics, screen printing, etching, sculpture; his work explores themes of identity, past, present and his experiences in Ireland. His work was purchased by the Cork City Hall and is on display at the Millenium Hall.
A member of Cork Printmakers Young Print Collective, emerging artist Viktoria has been drawn to visual art as a way of expressing her feelings since fleeing war in Ukraine. Through her art, she highlights the despair and anger at the senseless violence happening within her home country, using creativity as a way of coping. Through the color black, she shows the pain and tragedy of Ukraine. Black also symbolizes wisdom in Ukrainian embroidery, and Ukraine’s fertile soil.
Juan Carlos Moron
A graphic designer, artist, and creative, Juan Carlos Moron was born in Venezuela. He has discovered art in his hands, brain, and – most importantly – his heart. Juan did not fully realise his talent for art until a particularly difficult point in his life where he found sanctuary in drawing. Juan has not stopped creating and expressing through his work ever since.
International Community Dynamics CLG is delighted to announce the upcoming Festival of Belonging which will take place in Cork on 23 and 24 June, supported by the International Protection Integration fund of the DCDEIY.
- On 24 June, a Conversation Café with the theme of Belonging and facilitated by Think Speak Do, will take place in The Haven Café from 11am till 12:30pm. You can grab a coffee and have a friendly chat with people of refugee background.
- The final event is a conference which will be held in UCC, organised in co-operation with the Department of Sociology and Criminology.
Keynote speakers on the day will be Deborah Kayembe, Rector of Edingburgh University; Professor Maggie O’Neil, of the UCC dept. of Sociology ad Criminology; and Wanette Van Egdom-TuinstraOther speakers will include Dr Amin Sharifi Isaloo, Pooja Prinya, Roos Demol, Zephyrin Ngaliema.
With this conference, International Community Dynamics wants to draw attention to how the inclusion of new communities can enrich our own lives and culture, and is trying to look for answers on what belonging means to refugees and migrants, what have we done right, what can we do better?
The Festival is financed by the International Protection Integration fund and supported by Triskel Arts Centre and the UCC Department of Sociology and Criminology.
Quote by Pierrot Ngadi, Chairperson:“Belonging is the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, integration, and identity for a member of a certain group. It is when a person can bring their authentic self to any activity. We want to highlight this theme by showing of the unique talents of Refugees and IPAs, to give people the opportunity to get to know them better and to give them a feeling of belonging, with their own cultures and talents. The conference is a highlight for us and we are very honoured to welcome Debora Kayembe, Professor Maggie O’Neil and Wanette Van Egdom-Tuinstra, three exceptional women whose expertise lies in Human rights, belonging and place making.”
Spoken Word & Music Concert
|Thurs 8 June||11am-4pm|
|Thurs 15 June||11am-4pm|
|Fri 16 June||11am-6pm|
|Sat 17 June||11am-4pm|
|Thurs 22 June||11am-4pm|
|Fri 23 June||11am-4pm|
|Sat 24 June||11am-6pm|
PLEASE NOTE: you will be redirected to the Festival of Belonging’s Eventbrite where you can register for tickets