Tag Archives | Culture

Respect our culture…

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I for one can’t help but feel immensely proud of Belfast when tens of thousands of us can join together to celebrate culture in a way which doesn’t involve some kind of reference to warfare or create a huge police overtime bill.

[FILM] GrassRoots: The Cannabis Revolution…

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Cannabis is a divisive topic wherever you live. I live in Norwich, in the east of England, yet I am as attached to the issue as someone with a severe chronic illness in Brighton, or London, or Belfast is. This is because I have made a feature length documentary about this very issue. To expand: more…

Happy Christmas, intolerable Joyceans everywhere!

If you don’t know by now, it’s tradition!  And Brendan’s cryptic crossword in today’s Guardian nods in the general direction… Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, once again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. Adds I should have also noted this brief history of the day that it’s in, also from the more…

The Ultimate Eurovision Song Contest Winner…

With Russia discovering the joys of the politics of the Eurovision Song Contest this year, here’s the undoubted highlight from Saturday’s Grand Final in Stockholm – the interval act!  Just in case anyone from the BBC, or from RTÉ, are looking for any tips for next year.  Let’s face it, on recent form they could more…

Mark Cousins: “In the middle of the joy, modernity and new tolerance that we have, we have to allow a bit of space to acknowledge that creature from the Black Lagoon, that sense of, ‘Wow, did we really do that? Were we that inhuman?’ Yes, we were.”

The Guardian’s eminent film critic Peter Bradshaw, briefly and favourably, reviews film-maker Mark Cousins’ “meditative tribute” to his hometown, “I am Belfast”- a “valuable, heartfelt tribute to a city”. …there is much food for thought. He notes the fact that images of the Titanic, created at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, are everywhere in the city since more…

1916 is still worth a fret or two

I’ve just finished reading my latest foray into an absorbing subject, Ruth Dudley Edwards’s magnificent The Seven, her biographical account of the main leaders of the Easter Rising, guardedly but critically reviewed by the  historian and Irish Times columnist Diarmaid Ferriter here. While Ruth may be dismissed by some as the arch revisionist, no reader more…

Sinn Féin decommission “Booby Sands” leaflet

Sinn Féin's 2016 Booby Sands Leaflet

As the BBC Trending report notes As unfortunate typos go it could have hardly been worse. The Republic of Ireland is currently a few days into a general election campaign that is taking place amid the backdrop of the hundredth anniversary of the Easter 1916 rising. In one campaign leaflet, Mary Lou McDonald, the deputy more…

Terry Wogan made ordinary life special

If there was another Irish broadcaster who forced me to sit in the car park  and make me late for work it was Gay Byrne. Gay had a similar subversive streak and a light touch with a sting in the tail. But he did not  travel so well across the Irish Sea, nor did he more…

“Perhaps it’s best to simply regard Gerry’s book as the political equivalent of an ageing hardman action star taking a role in The Expendables…”

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde on the “exciting publishing news”, the terms may be used advisedly, of the forth-coming publication of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ Little Book of Calm Little Book of Tweets.  From the Guardian article Enormous congratulations to Gerry Adams, who is formally elevated to irony’s army council. The Sinn Féin president is more…

The flag protests – for example – were about social media, not column inches”: so what, then, will our Linen Hall Library look like in another 227 years?

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ULSTERS ATTIC: The Director of Belfast’s Linen Hall Library, Julie Andrews, arrives for work each day to an institution with living, breathing roots to the past like no other. She then sets about the very modern questions of Northern Ireland today: how to bring the past to life while keeping the bills paid, how to more…

Brian Friel 2

Forgive the minor personal recollections, but they’re bound to come to mind.  I first encountered Brian Friel in the front line of the throng that stood silently in the freezing cold as the coffins of Bloody Sunday victims emerged from a torrid requiem mass in St Mary’s Creggan. There was a silent moment of mutual more…

Is Turandot the most controversial artistic production ever staged in Northern Ireland?

Turandot 15 Credit Ludwig Olah State Theatre of Nuremberg

Following their successful production of Salome back in February, NI Opera’s Steven Hadley introduces the company’s next show Turandot [Ed – everyone can hum along with Nessun Dorma!] which he promises will challenge audience views on wealth, consumerism and the power of art to shock, educate and entertain. Is Northern Ireland ready? Northern Ireland Opera more…