Art Post-Brexi | AICA-Ireland Discussion at Belfast City Hall

1 November, 01:45 PM to 04:15 PM

AICA Ireland is hosting a discussion on Brexit and its implications for visual artists, curators, critics and publics. While media coverage has focussed on the economic and political uncertainty that the referendum has caused, the wider cultural and philosophical contexts have scarcely been addressed. Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of what is now the EU, is supposed to have said, ‘If I had to do it again, I would begin with culture’.

The practical implications for the post-Brexit cultural sector in Ireland, Britain and the rest of Europe is potentially enormous. Artists and academics will be severely affected. While taking account of this, this discussion seeks to look beyond the pecuniary. What does being part of the EU mean to its citizens in cultural terms and in terms of their identity in the contemporary world? What does leaving the EU and becoming a citizen of a ‘great global trading nation’ mean? What role can pan Ireland organisations like AICA Ireland play in this new scenario? For some the EU is a deeply flawed organisation but it remains the most significant and imaginative template for a common European identity, for freedom of movement and peaceful co-existence of its citizens into the future. Brexit throws up significant questions about the resurgence of nationalism, about cultural integration, about missed opportunities for Ireland, North and South, but also potential for change and for new directions including alternative models of exchange. This discussion seeks to probe these questions from a range of historical and philosophical perspectives from writers and artists living in Ireland, the UK and the rest of the EU.

Confirmed speakers:

Pat Cooke, School of Art History and Cultural Policy UCD.
Riann Coulter, FE McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge.
Colin Darke, artist and writer, based in Belfast.
Daniel Jewesbury (By Skype), Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg.
Gavin Murphy, Centre for Creative Arts and Media, GMIT.
Aisling O’Beirn, artist who also works at the Belfast School of Art, UU.

The discussion is chaired by Róisín Kennedy, School of Art History and Cultural Policy UCD.

The event is hosted in partnership with the Belfast Visual Arts Forum (BVAF) and Belfast City Council. BVAF was established by the city’s visual arts sector and Belfast City Council in 2014 to provide synergy and leadership to facilitate the development of the visual arts sector. It has over 70 members from the visual arts and other relevant stakeholders, such as ACNI, Thrive (formerly Audiences NI) and Voluntary Arts Ireland.

Gavin Murphy and Daniel Jewesbury will develop upon their contributions to an upcoming special issue of Third Text: Lost in Europe: in the wake of Britain’s inner emigration, guest edited by Richard Appignanesi, due to come out later in November.

Banqueting Hall, Belfast City Hall
Donegall Square


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