SEARCHLIGHT | Immersive Project at Malin Head


SEARCHLIGHT | Immersive Project at Malin Head Date/Time
Date(s) - 09/10/2021
6:45 pm - 7:15 pm

Malin Head





SEARCHLIGHT is an innovative, immersive project that engaged with refugee and migrant communities to reflect on the concept of borders at a local and international level. It was developed in collaboration with the Donegal Intercultural Platform and Donegal Refugee Resettlement project. SEARCHLIGHT developed exchange about surveillance that is visible and invisible. It created dialogue around the local border topology and redefined the notion of cultural practice in a public space with a specific historic and post-conflict fabric, within the tensions of larger global events.

It created a reflective space for dialogue to emerge around the themes of crossing borders and transnational identity. Testimonies were gathered from Syrian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Sudanese, Palestinian, Roma (migrants/refugees) and the Traveller community. HOME-LAND (Albalad Alam), a collaborative soundwork was produced, which echo’s the Arabic call to prayer in music performed by the Syrian Ex-Pat Philharmonic Orchestra.

SEARCHLIGHT culminates in a large-scale nocturnal event at Banbas Crown, Malin Head, Irelands most northernly point. It will use a specifically commissioned helicopter equipped with a searchlight to fill the skies in a light projection event, which illuminates the aeronautical border line in the River Foyle, where connotations of  their use in surveillance still remain. SEARCHLIGHT also engages innovative broadcast technology, to develop new language around border demarcation.

AsHOME-LAND(Albalad Alam) emanates from the Look-Out Posts at Malin Head. Just on dusk at (6.45 pm) the (artist-team) will use radio broadcast to communicate with thehelicopter pilot. This live event will create a form of visual choreography with light. The pilot will  be instructed to fly in a northerly direction on a route along the now (EU) international border line in the River Foyle.  When the helicopter reaches Bambas Crown, it will drop to (500 ft) and hover in designated areas to cast beams of light across the sky. This nocturnal event will signal the end of light on that day. *

Conceptually the beam of light forms a transient and temporary sculptural form. The ephemeral nature of SEARCHLIGHT raises intriguing questions around artistic permanence as it will remain in the imagination long after it has been removed from a traditional audience’s view.

SEARCHLIGHT will facilitate new ways for non-traditional and new audiences to engage with the project. Audiences will look up to the sky to view the work from designated areas, at Malin Head, it will also be visible to cross-border communities along the River Foyle. There will also be live streaming of this event on our social media channels, to attract new audiences nationally and internationally. SEARCHLIGHT has strong metaphorical power in terms of how we engaged with aspects of place, surveillance and contested histories.


*Aviation’s‘ international official night time occurs (35-40) min after sunset, dusk is the time between sunset and dark.


Inishowen Development Partnership Francine Blanche Breen, (Donegal Intercultural Platform/ Donegal Travellers project), Fadl Mustapha, Eyad Meshael, (Resettlement Support Workers), Changemakers, Malin Head Community Association, Maritime Museum Greencastle, Executive Helicopters, Charter Service, Galway.

In keeping with current (COVID-19) guidelines a maximum of (200) attendees can book to attend this live-event, pre-booking is essential. For booking /enquiries please contact Kate O’Callaghan, Event Co-Ordinator.


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