Galway 2020 opens call to Artists for Aistriú Project


Galway 2020, in association with the Aistriú project team at NUI Galway and Ealaín na Gaeltachta, has today opened a call for expressions of interest from artists to create work to form part of the Aistriú project for 2020.

When Europe is faced with unprecedented migration, 20th century Irish language texts provide a vocabulary to respond to contemporary challenges. Focusing on the core theme of migration, Aistriú brings to the public and wider European attention a selection of multi-genre Irish language literary texts, from some of our best known writers, including poetry, short stories and passages from novels and autobiographies.

The texts exhibit a range of perspectives on the theme of migration – from Ó Cadhain’s excited young women eagerly awaiting passage to America, to Peig Sayers’ personal account in her autobiography Peig: A Scéal Féin. Contemporary writing in the form of Alan Titley’s Gluaiseacht charts the exploitative relationship between the transporters and transported, while Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s series of poems ‘Na Murúcha a Thriomaigh’ explores the theme of displacement and the challenges faced by marginalised individuals and groups who feel like fish out of water.

The overall budget for the commission is €50,000, which will be awarded to one or more artists to create their artistic response to the texts. This work will form part of the exciting cultural programme for Galway 2020. The invitation is open to artists of all disciplines including architecture, circus, street art and spectacle, dance, film, literature, music, opera, theatre, traditional arts and visual arts. Multidisciplinary expressions and those in mixed/digital media are welcome.

Artists expressing interest in Aistriú will be required to demonstrate a track record of commitment to the Irish language in their previous work. Proposals must be publicly engaging and audience-focused. The chosen work will fit with the overall ambition of Galway 2020 to deliver a year of extraordinary creativity that showcases what is most valuable in both Irish and European creative culture.

A workshop for interested artists will be held on Wednesday 1 May, in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway, from 10am to 1pm. Members of the Aistriú project team will be on hand to provide additional information and guidance and answer any questions.

 “At a time when 68.5 million people are displaced worldwide, these texts alert us to the individual human stories that can never be captured in such startling statistics.”

Liz Kelly, Cultural Producer for Galway 2020 said: We are pleased to be working with our NUI Galway colleagues in the dissemination of these prescient and potent Irish language texts. Translations of the texts are available now in English, and through the Aistriú project the works will be translated into other European languages to further increase audiences for these texts, celebrating Irish language literature on an international stage. Commissioning artists of all disciplines to respond to these texts gives us the opportunity to bring them to further public attention and celebrate these remarkable writers in a contemporary context.

Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil, NUI Galway lecturer and Aistriú co-director said: At a time when 68.5 million people are displaced worldwide, these texts alert us to the individual human stories that can never be captured in such startling statistics. The Aistriú project is a timely reminder that Irish language literature has contemporary relevance and import beyond the geographical and linguistic borders of Ireland.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 30 June 2019.  For further information about the applications process, visit the Aistriú website.

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