Following months of postponements and cancellations, news that Culture Night would be returning for its 15th edition on Friday, September 18th, was a huge relief to the Irish arts and culture community.
Organising this year’s events has no doubt come with its own, unique set of challenges, but the Culture Night team have gone above and beyond to deliver what promises to be a memorable night for audiences across Ireland and perhaps, further afield. Our Radius section editors at The University Times have banded together to present you with their top Dublin-based and online picks from the wide-ranging programme.
Short Films by Young People from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
Visual artist John Conway joins forces with the young people of Ballybrack and Nutgrove to produce a selection of short films. Crosscare Youth Services and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Office have supported participants through their exploration of the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking, allowing them to create their own original work. Funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, these short films were directed, acted in and shot by the young people themselves. The films will be available to watch online from 7pm, and no booking is required.
Afghan Community and Cultural Association of Ireland: Afghan Cameleers in Australia
The Afghan Community and Cultural Association will screen Said Fahim Hasheemy’s film which tells the story of Afghan cameleers, known as “ghan”, who worked in the Australian outback as camel drivers from the 1860s to the 1930s. Small groups of cameleers were shipped in and out of Australia at three-year intervals to service the Australian inland pastoral industry, carting goods and transporting wool by camel trains. The screening will take place online from 7.30pm to 9pm, and no booking is required.
Chester Beatty: Explore Dublin Castle
Discover the on-sight wonders of the Chester Beatty Library with this event. The galleries, which include a wonderful temporary exhibition, “Siam Through the Lens of John Thompson, 1865-66”, will be open to visitors from 5pm to 10pm. Thomson’s photographic vision singles him out as one of history’s most important travel photographers. This exhibition introduces the sights and people of 19th century Thailand as witnessed by Thomson’s camera. The Chester Beatty Bookshop and Café will remain open until 10pm. Free admission and no booking required.
The Live Drawing Project: Ireland and France
The French Embassy, in association with the National Gallery of Ireland, invites you to join in on an interactive drawing session. Participate in this virtual exhibition by using your electronic device as a drawing pad. Draw along with participants across Ireland and France from 8pm to 10.30pm, either at the venue while complying with social distancing, or from the comfort of your own home on Facebook Live. Watch in real-time as creations appear on the wall of the National Gallery. Special guests to be announced. No booking required.
Prog Rock Grooves: Jaki Liebezeit and the Nature of Rhythm
Part of the European Culture Trail, this show will pay homage to one of the most significant trailblazers in krautrock history. Paving the way for future vanguards of the genre like Kraftwerk, Cluster, and Neu! Jaki Liebezeit is best known for his drumming as part of the subversive German avant-garde outfit Can. His mechanical and cerebral technique inspired the development of ambient and post-punk as he worked against the grain of prog rock norms. The event will be screened online from 7pm to 7.45pm and booking is required.
The Book of Kells at Night
Trinity College Dublin or screened on Facebook live, 5pm–9pm.
Sticking close to campus, a tour of the college’s famed Long Room and our emblematic medieval manuscript will be followed by a performance from Trinity’s own renowned acapella group, Trinitones – including a set of their unique arrangements of modern pop. The performance can also be enjoyed live at home via the Book Of Kells Facebook page. Bookings for the offline event are required. The event will run from 5pm to 9pm in Trinity or on Facebook Live.
Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre: “Gloke”
Screened online, 4pm–11pm.
A fitting performance for the introspective times we are living through, the online video premier of “Gloke”, a spoken-word piece composed by Dublin poet Geoff Finan, will provide a creative immersion into issues of identity and mental health. Developed by Pavee Point Men’s Health Programme and grounded in Finan’s experience connecting with a group of men from the travelling community, the piece promises to deliver an evocative and soul-stirring performance. The event, which will run from 4pm to 11pm, is online and booking is required.
Twitter Open Mic: #GetCreativeWithTheOU
With the pandemic limiting the opportunities for creative writers to showcase their work, the Open University is using Twitter’s platform to replicate the charming and communal atmosphere of an open-mic night. If you have a poem, song or short prose piece that you’re itching to share with fellow creatives, the hashtag #GetCreativeWithTheOU will grant you access to the innovative collaboration you’ve been longing for. The event will take place from 7pm to 9pm and booking is required.
Flying Turtle Productions: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Escapes!
Flying Turtle Productions’ advanced acting class have decided to “escape the theatre” and film an hou-long version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With a focus on the fairies and the mismatched lovers, the show plays out against the background scenery of St. Anne’s Park as the actors run, dance and laugh their way into magical mayhem. The event can be accessed via the Culture Night page with the link to watch coming soon. The event, which will be screened online, will run from 4pm to 11pm and no booking is required.
Flash Storytelling at the National Leprechaun Museum
Storytellers from the National Leprechaun Museum will showcase the mythical creatures that live in and around Dublin throughout this event. Participants are invited to find the storytellers at the homes of these fantastical creatures using maps found on social media or collected from the museum’s box office. If they prefer, participants may also watch events unfold on the museum’s YouTube channel. The event will take place from 5.15pm to 8.45pm and no booking is required. More information can be found on the Culture Night website. Face coverings are mandatory.
The events listed above are happening strictly in Dublin or online, but the wider Culture Night 2020 programme boasts plenty of other cultural events happening in numerous venues around the country. More information on these events and countless others can be found on the Culture Night website.