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Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, in partnership with axis, Ballymun and SIPTU, presents:

Changing the Story
axis, Ballymun
1 May 2008, 2-5pm

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Maya Angelou

Campaigns for civil rights and civil justice motivate much of global politics today. These campaigns can be traced back to the passion and subversive imagination of a generation whose formative political moment was forged in the radical ferment of 1968.

On the 20th December 1968 it was reported in the Irish Times that the Ballymun project, the model new town, was officially complete.

Forty years later, is the radical vision of 1968 exhausted or irrelevant? How might we continue Changing the Story?

Join us for an afternoon of reflection and radical optimism with local residents and artists living and working in Ballymun;
Ollie McGlinchey, (Ballymun Communications Manager), Stewart Dowie (Neighbourhood Arts Worker), Aine Rooney, (Ballymun Welfare Rights Co-ordinator), Colm Downes (educator), Dean Scurry (comedian / youth worker / artist), Aideen McBride (storyteller), along with poet and playwright Dermot Bolger, Professor Alan Read (Kings College, London), writer Evelyn Conlon and Little John Nee as he composes a new protest song for Ballymun.

The event will be followed by a reception. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. A free bus will depart outside SIPTU at 1.30 pm and return at 6pm.


Poet, playwright and novelist, Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland's best known writers.He founded and edited the Raven Arts Press, Dublin, from 1979 to 1992. His   ninth novel, The Family on Paradise Pier was published by HarperCollins in 2006. He has been associated with South Dublin County, firstly as Writer in Residence and now under the In Context Public Art Commission scheme. His work has explored the changing realities of contemporary Dublin, most notably in his Ballymun trilogy, the first part of which, From These Green Heights, won the Irish Times/ESB Award for Best New Irish play of 2005. His works have been staged and translated in many countries. In 2006 he edited, County Lines: A Portrait of South Dublin County Through Its Writers.

Evelyn Conlon Born in 1952 in Co. Monaghan and educated there, she left in 1970 to briefly attend UCD. She was a winner of the European Schools Day essay competition in 1969 and had her first stories published at the age of seventeen in New Irish Writing, Irish Press.  At the age of nineteen she emigrated to Australia. Her first collection of short stories was published in 1987 and this has been followed to date by two more collections and three novels. She has compiled and edited three other books, and is a regular reviewer on radio and television. She now lives in Dublin.

Little John Nee was born in Glasgow, spent his summers in Donegal, and returned to his parents hometown Letterkenny at the age of twelve. He performed as Charlie Chaplin in Grafton Street in the early eighties as well as performing regularly with the Grapevine Touring Theatre before joining Macnas in Galway. He has appeared in films such as NeilJordan’s High Spirits and Barry Levinson’s Everlasting Piece. In the early nineties he wrote, directed, and performed many children’s theatre shows most notably for the Galway Arts festival. Little John Nee has created a theatrical style of storytelling all of his own and his magnetic performances have garnered him an international reputation, he was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award in Washington D.C. for his performance in The Derry Boat.

Alan Read works as an academic, a cultural practitioner and  a public intellectual. He directed the Council of Europe Workshop on Theatre and Communities (1981-1983), a neighbourhood theatre in the East End of London for eight years (1983 - 1991), public events and talks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts for four years (1994-1997), worked as a freelance writer in Barcelona for four years (1991-1994) and as Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at Roehampton University (1997-2006). His interests lie in negotiating engagements between intellectual enterprise, innovative artistic practices and local neighbourhood contexts.  

Most recently his work has been conducted through a five year programme of research and public networking between artists, academics and architects in a project called Performance Architecture Location. Since moving to King's College London in 2006 he has reviewed and directed the MA Text and Performance Studies in collaboration with RADA.

Dean Scurry Dean has been making a name for himself as a comedian since he took part in Des Bishops 'Joy in Da Hood'. Dean hosts   his own comedy club, The House of Fun. Dean has played all over Ireland Vicar St, The International, The Laughter Lounge, Cuba, City Limits Cork and The Empire in Belfast. Dean has also played The Comedy Store London, Jongeulers in Glasgow, The Stand, Comedy Central and Rawhide Liverpool, Munich and hosted 2007 Dublin City University Comedy Festival and TAIN Festival in Dundalk. Dean has been lucky enough to have supported Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne Andrew Maxwell, Ardal O'Hanlon & Pj Gallagher.

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