Corrymeela celebrates its 50th birthday with Aperture festival to mark common ground & difference

aperture festival CorrymeelaFew people realise that the origins of the Corrymeela Community can be traced not to the start of the Troubles – Corrymeela was actually set up before the Troubles in 1965 – but to Ray Davey’s experiences during the Second World War. The horror and suffering of Dresden impressed upon him the futility of war, violence and division. [historian and playwright Philip Orr]

The Corrymeela Community is celebrating its 50th birthday by throwing open the doors at its Ballycastle centre for Aperture. The mid-summer festival runs from Friday 31 July to Sunday 2 August on the six acre site and promises a family-friendly festival of alternatives will combine poets, musicians, politicians, circus acts, theologians, debates, games, food and fire in order to explore how far we’ve come on the Northern Ireland’s peace and reconciliation journey.

Aside from music from a raft of local bands and groups, talks from writers and all manner of workshops, Slugger readers may be interested in some of the politically-leaning events in the packed programme.

Friday 31 July

  • Are we all done with the Good Friday Agreement? Panel discussion at 4pm with Alan McBride, Steven Agnew and Alan Meban.
  • Who needs a Human Rights Act Anyway? Panel discussion at 7pm with Dr Helen Beckett, Peter Doran, Matthew Baxendale and Kevin Hanratty.

Saturday 1 August

  • Bad News – Are the media reflecting society or picking at our scars? Early morning discussion panel with Kevin Traynor, Nick Garbutt and Stephen McCaffery.
  • Perspectives on Loyalism in 2015 by Dave Magee at 4pm.

Sunday 2 August

  • Writer solicitor, law lecturer and NI’s first Police Ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan will address conference delegates at 3pm.

Day passes are available along with weekend and family tickets. Accommodation can be booked at a local campsite or in local hotels and B&Bs.

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