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Collaborative Arts, Interculturalism and Human Rights
Video still, Manifesto, HD video with sound, permanent collection of The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Anthony Haughey 2016.

Collaborative Arts, Interculturalism and Human Rights


6 April 2017

11am - 3pm

Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission , 16-22 Green Street, Dublin 7

Collaborative Arts, Interculturalism and Human Rights

Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts


This seminar sets out to encourage discussion about the vital role the arts, and in particular collaborative arts, can play in promoting interculturalism and human rights. The seminar will lay the foundations for a common arena for tactical and strategic approaches to social justice and human rights issues through the lens of arts and cultural practice. Of interest to arts practitioners and programmers, activists, civil society groups, policy makers in area of public provision for arts access, participation and the many informal groups who are activating culturally diverse projects in different contexts, the seminar will look at the contradictions and tensions which can arise in the arena of art and activism. Does art with a human rights agenda subvert or uphold a status quo? What are the challenges for makers and collaborators within a Human Rights frame?

The seminar will feature a keynote address by artist Dr. Anthony Haughey with human rights activist Warsame Ali Garare and will include presentations, film and performance from artists and activists including visual artist Laragh Pittman, theatre maker Bisi Adigun and film maker Jijo Sebastian among others.


Additional aims for the seminar are:

To bring together the key constituencies in this knowledge community including artists, activists, civil society groups to explore common themes and share knowledge.

To bring into dialogue actors within a field that is often fragmented.

To promote best practice through key project examples and through cross sectoral exchange.

Create has been programming seminars and events on cultural diversity for nearly 20 years. Through the Artist in the Community Scheme which Create manages on behalf of Arts Council, Create has been supporting and advising artists who wish to work with culturally diverse groups and in solidarity with organisations and communities highlighting human rights and social justice issues throughout Ireland.

This event has been supported by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission


Collaboration, Interculturalism and Human Rights

11.00amWelcomes and Introduction to the day,
Ailbhe Murphy, Director Create.
11.10 – 11.50Dr. Anthony Haughey, artist and academic, Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, DIT.
Keynote presentation with Warsame Ali Garare Human Rights activist.
11.50 – 12.00Q & A
12.00 – 12.15Laragh Pittman, artist and initiator The Invisible Museum with Nor Nasib, Coordinator Amal Women’s group, South Circular Road Mosque.
Response Katherine Atkinson, Project Support, Create.
12.20 – 12.35Jijo Sebastian, artist, filmmaker and Director of Box (2015).Response Katherine Atkinson, Professional Development, Create.
12.35 – 12.45Q & A
12.45 – 13.30Lunch and teas and coffees (provided on the day).
13.30 – 13.50Film Screening: BOX (2015), made in collaboration with Indo-Irish atheists with the support of the Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme, Project Realisation Award.
13.50 – 14.10Bisi Adigun, artist and Founder and Director of Arambe Productions.
Response Katrina Goldstone, Communications, Create.
14.15 – 14.35Clodagh Emoe artist and initiator of The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time with members of Crocosmia.
Open discussion


Anthony Haughey

Anthony Haughey is an artist and academic (PhD Belfast School of Art 2009). He supervises socially engaged PhD projects in the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Technology. His socially engaged art practice utilises relational and dialogical art methods as well as photography, video and installation to create ambitious artworks critically reflecting on historical and contemporary social relations. His long-term collaborators Lauretta Igbosonu and Warsame Ali Garaare are leading members of the Global Migration Research Network – a diverse group of transnational migrants who have worked with the artist for more than ten-years. His work has been widely exhibited and collected nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include: The Museum of August Destiny, Lismore Contemporary; Uncovering History, Kunsthaus Graz; Making History, Colombo Art Biennale; and Homelands, a major British Council exhibition touring South Asia. His work has been published widely internationally. His new video, Manifesto (2016) toured nationally and internationally throughout 2016 and was acquired for the permanent collection of The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. UNresolved (2015) was recently exhibited in the Biennial of the Moving Image in Buenos Aires. He was recipient of Create ‘Arts and Cultural Diversity Award’ (2014).

In their presentation Anthony and Warsame will discuss collaborative and dialogical socially engaged art methods exploring often contentious issues relating to citizenship and contested spaces, where audiences are situated within a transformative dialogical process; reflecting French philosopher Jacques Rancière’s assertion that, ‘critical art intends to raise consciousness of the mechanisms of domination in order to turn the spectator into a conscious agent in the transformation of the world’ (2004: 83).

Warsame Ali Garare

Warsame Ali Garare is a human rights activist and advocate for asylum seekers and migrant rights. He has more than ten years’ experience in the field of human rights, paying particular attention to immigration and refugee law in Ireland and the European Union. He is also a researcher and participant in the production of many socially engaged art projects as a member of the Global Migration Research Network, he is also a regular contributor to academic seminars and public discussions in support of migrant rights. He has first-hand experience of the European asylum system after arriving in Malta from his home in Somalia; a country devastated by a civil war for the past quarter century. In addition to experiencing similar challenges of those seeking protection in Malta, he has worked in detention centres as a multilingual cultural mediator and mentor, he has also worked in several human rights organisations in Ireland. He is a qualified human rights lawyer and holds an LLM from University College of Dublin and LLB from Dublin Institute of Technology.

Laragh Pittman

Laragh Pittman is a visual artist. In 2016 studio 468 created a new awards programme CITIZEN ARTIST that seeks to interrogate the current state of being as a nation and inform new thinking and artistic practices. She was awarded the CITIZEN ARTIST award for her proposal The Invisible Museum, designed to act as a repository to capture the complexity of experience of new people settling in Dublin city. It sets out to visualise the often transient and unacknowledged contribution they make to the fabric of Irish life. The Invisible Museum is inspired by the Silent University: initiated by Turkish artist Ahmet Ögüt in 2012; an autonomous knowledge exchange platform by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Laragh’s CITIZEN ARTIST award will provide a framework and contact to further question socially engaged practice particularly in the area of cultural diversity. Since 2014 Laragh has engaged with a group of Muslim Women in Dublin 8. She seeks to expand her relationships with a wide range of local women living in Dublin 8 during her CITIZEN ARTIST award (Studio 468/Common Ground) and to create a space for conversation and discussion and create a slowly emerging communication and artwork.

Laragh will present with Nor Nasib coordinator of the Amal Women’s group based in South Circular Road Mosque. Their presentation will discuss how her project The Museum Of The Refound was the first part of an investigation into Cultural Diversity in Dublin: uncovering layers of migration; whilst the current project Invisible Museum is an attempt to render visible the influence of new communities in the city. This is work in progress and is currently focused on a collaboration with Muslim Women from the South Circular Road Mosque.

Jijo Sebastian

Jijo Sebastian is a science graduate turned film maker. He has made five short films and one feature-length film focusing on the lives of the Indian community in Ireland. Having lived as a migrant in different places, Jijo is interested in themes of identity and belonging in a globalized world. His work is often experimental in form and darkly comic.

Jijo’s films have been screened at international film festivals including the International Short Film Festival of Uruguay (2013), Vibgyor International Film Festival, Thrissur, Kerala, India (2013) and Fokana Film Festival, Illinois, USA (2014). Jijo was a recipient of the Arts Council ART:2016 Next Generation award. He was also a successful applicant to the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme Award in 2015. The collaborative film Box written and directed by Jijo Sebastian in collaboration with Neuron (Irish Indo atheists), was premiered at the New Theatre on August 11th 2016.

In his presentation Jijo will discuss the socio-political dimension of his practice as an immigrant community film maker, exploring how a production strategy of low budget collaboration driven, non-professional participatory video style of film making becomes a form of political activism.

Bisi Adigun

Bisi Adigun holds a PhD in Drama from Trinity College Dublin, where he currently lectures. Originally from the Yoruba land in western Nigeria, Ireland has been Bisi’s home since 1996. He is a playwright, theatre director/producer and the artistic director of Arambe Productions, Ireland’s first African theatre company, which he founded in 2003. Past Productions: The Gods Are Not To Blame (2004), The Kings of The Kilburn High Road (2006 & 2007), The Dilemma of A Ghost (2007), Through A Film Darkly (2008 Haba, Pastor Jero! (2009), The Butcher Babes (2010), and The Paddies of Parnell Street (2013). Bisi is a performing artist, an academic and has also co-presented the first three series of Mono, RTE’s flagship television programme on intercultural Ireland. He wrote his first major play Moremi: the Goddess, which he also directed, for Waterford Youth Drama Ireland in 2000

In his presentation Bisi will focus on the work of Arambe in interculturalism and theatre; on the politics of representation; the concepts of the ‘familiar’ and ‘unfamiliar’ and unpicking who is telling who’s stories in 21st century Ireland.

Clodagh Emoe

Clodagh Emoe is a visual artist. She holds a BA in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, a MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and a PhD from GradCAM/DIT.

Recent commissioned works include: The Plurality of Existence …, with Crocosmia, supported by Visual, Carlow and Arts Council of Ireland (2016); Seeing the Unseen, A Mysterical Day, The Cockpit Theatre/Serpentine Gallery, London (2016); Sometimes We See Better With Our Eyes Closed, Summer Rising, IMMA (2015); Psychic Sleep and Collective Thought (2012/13) as part of the Maybe Education programme at dOCUMENTA XIII, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and at Catalyst Arts, Belfast; Metaphysical Longings, an on-going exploration of thought using forms of guided visualization known as psychic sleep; The Closing of Mystical Anarchism, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin (2012); Parodos, Irish Museum of Modern Art (2012); The Unveiling, (2010), a site-specific work parodying the failed unveiling of a monumental sculpture for Dublin City Council; and Cult of Engagement, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2009) commissioned by Project Arts Centre.

Her Artworks are in the permanent collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Limerick City Gallery of Art, The University of the Arts, London and the private collections of Anthony Reynolds and Kilfane Sculpture Garden.

In her presentation Clodagh will talk about the project The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time with members of Crocosmia, and about representation from the perspective of those who are not represented in, or by, the legislative, cultural and political frameworks within our society. This project engages with cultural diversity, inclusion and the rights of the individual, through collaboration with refugees and asylum seekers living in Ireland.

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This research is funded by the Irish Human rights and Equality Grant Scheme 2016-2017.  The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

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