Migration in Dialogue – Local Actions in Ireland // Participant Report

From the 13th to the 18th of October, Telma Roque visited Eurobug Ireland in Dublin, Ireland, and connected with different initiatives involving the migrant community in Ireland, co-facilitated a workshop on migration, and explored Irish immigration and emigration history. The goal of this visit was to collaborate on running a local event in the context of the Bridges Not Walls Migration in Dialogue project run by Eurobug Ireland. This is Telma’s report on this activity.

I had just landed in Dublin and met the Eurobug Ireland team, including my friend and colleague Ashley Chadamoyo in a symposium “exploring feminism, arts participation, and a theatre-making model of care and collaboration” at Trinity College, in celebration of Dublin Theatre Festival 2022. It was incredibly interesting to listen to the panelists exposing their experiences with theatre and how healing and interactive it can be, talking about the inclusion of marginalized groups through theatre, exploring the feminist aesthetic, and getting to know the “Cessair Sea Shanty” theatre play.

The following day was dedicated to getting to know the city of Dublin – I explored the streets of Dublin city centre, went to the National History Museum where I learned a lot about how Ireland came to be (and of course, Vikings too), visited Merrion Park and the statue of Oscar Wilde, and the Dublin Castle.

The third day was the D-day – or must I say W-day, as it was the day me and Ashley hosted a theatre workshop in Rua Red, Tallaght. The workshop had the intent of putting into practice and collect feedback from the participants on the effects of theatre in the inclusion of migrants, women, and queer and non-binary folks into the Irish society. The feedback we received was very positive – the participants felt welcomed and had fun while exploring non-verbal theatre practices.

On the same day, we had the chance to see Rina Sawayama, an English-Japanese pop artist, whom I’ve been dying to see live for a few years! Her music is very personal and reflects her life experiences and struggles, her culture, and her queerness. It was an amazing show and I couldn’t be happier to have had this opportunity.

Moving on to the fourth day, visited the Irish Film Institute and watched 4 short films produced by black people in Ireland in celebration of Black History Month. The short movies touched on different topics under the big question of visibility and representation in media, such as what it means to be Black and Irish, and how people of colour are portrayed in media, and its social impact. The short movies screened were “Anchor Babies”, “Dubh”, “The Colour Between”, and “Say my Ainm”.

Lastly, we went to the EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum and, as a museum lover, this museum is certainly unlike any I’ve ever visited before. It’s a very dynamic, interactive, and creative museum, with beautiful decorations. In the beginning, a “passport” is given to you that you can stamp as you visit all the sections it has! It was an engrossing experience that led me to learn a lot about Irish history and how influential Irish culture is thanks to migration.

In short, I had a wonderful time in Ireland and I wish I had more time to visit even more cultural spaces in Ireland. If the opportunity comes, I would love to see the beautiful landscapes of rural Ireland.

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