Since the Russian invasion began and Ukrainian families started arriving in Ireland, An Táin Arts Centre have been partnering with Louth Local Development to present a programme of events to help integrate our new friends into Irish society. Our film club with Access Cinema has been central to this programme. So far, large numbers of people from the Ukrainian community have attended screenings of Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Elvis, Blackbird, Roman Holiday, and Old School as part of An Táin Arts Centre’s Film Club. Free tea and coffee are served following the afternoon screenings to encourage people to stay around, have a chat and get to know each other.
We have also been working with three other arts centre’s to bring one of Europe’s most established clown troupes, Mimirichi from Ukraine, to perform their uproarious show Paper World on June 9th. Watch the clowns literally tear down the house in this fun show that will have children and adults shrieking with delight.
Part of our summer programme of films will also include Pamfir, a Ukrainian film directed by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk, which focusses on reformed ex-smuggler Pamfir, as he returns home to his village on the Ukrainian border after working abroad for several years. He’s determined to earn an honest living and set a good example for his beloved teenage son Nazar, but things don’t necessarily go to plan. Described as part drama, part thriller, part noir-inflected fairytale. A perfect sample of Ukrainian cinema for local audiences to experience.
Yaroslava Paievska, Louth Local Development Officer says of the partnership “It was a great pleasure for us Ukrainians to participate in different cultural events in An Táin Arts Centre. Ukrainians really enjoyed watching movies in the arts centre and having a chat with Irish people about the film afterwards. Ukrainian children had a nice time at family art classes on Saturdays. We also participated in a very creative event – ‘The Uncommon Travel Area’. This performance was created to bring attention to border crossing problems between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. Ukrainians had a chance to create their graffiti wall where they wrote their impressions of Ireland.”
In addition to this, our Theatre Company in Residence, Encore Productions, made up of a group of adults with additional needs, have also been enjoying some workshops led by Ukrainian actor Kostiantyn Kostiuk. His work is influenced by Stanislavski and encourages clarity and truth in the actors’ movement.
Sandy Sneddon, Director of Encore Productions said of the experience. “We at Encore Productions, were delighted to welcome Kostiantyn to Dundalk and learn from his experience, warmth, and enthusiasm. The participants of the workshops thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Our Director, Paul Hayes says “We have been delighted to host a number of events aimed at the Ukrainian community and to help them integrate with our current local audience. We have had art classes for adults and children, gallery tours, workshops, films, and an interactive art piece examining the immigrant experience in our country called ‘The Uncommon Travel Area’. The Arts has always been at the forefront of social inclusion, I am glad we can continue this fine tradition.”
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