Isobel Harbison

15 May 2023

‘History of the Present’

A conference was organised at Queen’s University Belfast last month to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. On the flanks of this ticketed, barricaded, high-security fiesta, a range of cultural events foregrounded the faces, voices and impact of community leaders and organisers who have worked towards equality and reconciliation before and after armed conflict officially ceased. Amanda Dunsmore’s Agreement, a set of Warholian durational video portraits of the original political engineers of the peace agreement, was showing at Ulster University. HIVE, a community choir, performed live, delivering an impishly funny choral rearrangement of the 35-page at Queen’s University’s Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC). Maria Fusco’s new opera-film, History of the Present, had its premiere at the Queen’s Film Theatre.

Read more about ‘History of the Present’

2 February 2023

The Banshees and the Quiet Girl

Two Irish movies have been nominated for Oscars this year: one in the Best Picture category – TheBanshees of Inisherin, directed by Martin McDonagh, shot in English on the islands of Achill and Inishmore – while the other is a contender for Best International Feature Film (a category formerly known as Best Foreign Language Film): An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl), directed by Colm Bairéad, shot in Irish between Co. Dublin and Co. Meath. Hollywood representations of Ireland and its people have a long history, from Sidney Olcott’s A Lad from Old Ireland (1910) to John Ford’s The Quiet Man (1952), movies that enjoyed commercial success in part by appealing to the nostalgia of the Irish diaspora in the United States.

Read more about The Banshees and the Quiet Girl