-Belfast’s most innovative Festival returns next week (22nd March – 28th March)
One of Belfast’s most innovative and engaging festivals, Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics (22nd – 28th March) returns next week for its seventh year. The week-long festival will host 115 webcasts (the great majority of which are free) under the theme, ‘The State of Us’ and will cover pertinent topics including, the centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland, Brexit, climate change, COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.
The events are filling up, and include headline acts such as Noam Chomsky, Bonie Greer and Gavin Esler. Here are ten quirky, free events that are not to be missed.
Nasrin 22 March: 7pm. Secretly filmed in Iran, Nasrin is an immersive film portrait of one of the world’s most courageous human rights activists and political prisoners, Nasrin Sotoudeh. Free to watch on the QFT Player for 24 hours.
A Quarrel with Myself presented by Kabosh. 22 – 26 March: 9.30pm
This ground-breaking experiment in broadcasting news will reflect on the day’s events and examine the political lens through which we receive our news. Broadcast over five nights during the festival, RTÉNI and BBC32 will offer a unique insight into what is possible on our television news!
The Year That Never Was: Artist Talk 23 March 12.30pm
On the anniversary of the first national lockdown, Visual Artist Heather Wilson and Theatre Maker Stephen Beggs talk about their project, ‘The Year That Never Was’. Both artists will be joining us direct by Zoom from their unit in Connswater Shopping Centre, where their art installation is situated. The installation looks at what 2020 should have been like without the pandemic and how things changed for all of us.
Prose and Politics: Sinéad Gleeson in conversation with Jan Carson. 24 March: 7pm
Sinéad Gleeson’s debut collection of essays: Constellations: Reflections from Life was published in April 2019 by Picador. Other publications include, The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers, edited by Sinéad. Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast.
Democracy Dances: Orchestral music and politics. 27 March: 8pm
A chance to hear from award winning composer Conor Mitchell in conversation with Patrick McCarthy from the Ulster Orchestra. The conversation will introduce a filmed performance of Conor’s new work for orchestra and electronics ‘Democracy Dances’.
A House Divided 23-28 March: 7pm.
A rare chance to see John T. Davis’ thoughtful and revealing documentary, following the work of Belfast artist Noel Murphy as he paints the members of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2003. Available from Tuesday 23 March, and free to watch every evening until Sunday 28 March.
The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. 25 March: 8pm
Take a couple of top academics, some dangerous ideas, add one comedian and it’s the force of nature that is the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CODI). Hosted by Scottish comedian Susan Morrison, and now in its eighth year, CODI is sixty minutes of rapid-fire research from some of the finest minds in the country.
Trump Rant. 27 March: 6.30pm
For the first time, Chris Agee reads from his “startlingly unique” new poetic work, Trump Rant (2021), written between January 2017 and Election Day 2020, and just published. “A cross between Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Wittgenstein.” – William Crawley
Tom Mayhew: Still Skint. 27 March: 7.30pm
In this autobiographical stand-up show, rising star Tom Mayhew shares stories about his life growing up working class and his time on benefits. The show takes a wry, sideways look at the prejudices that people have towards benefits claimants and turns those assumptions on their head.
Letters with Wings, when Art meets Activism. 28 March: 7pm
An event dedicated to the women artists Chimengul Awut (award-winning Uyghur poet) and Nûdem Durak (Kurdish political prisoner in Turkey). The participants include Lia Mills, Catherine Dunne, Celia de Fréine, Kate Ennals, Moyra Donaldson, Evgeny Shtorn, Gianluca Costantini, Antje Stehn, Simone Theiss, Maria McManus, Nandi Jola, Csilla Toldy and Viviana Fiorentino.
Check out the full programme at https://imaginebelfast.com