Left-wing Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn joins the West Belfast Talks Back panel for the annual political knockabout in St Louise’s Comprehensive College. Noel Thompson will keep the peace and chair the panel that includes Sinn Féin South Dublin councillor Eoin Ó Broin, PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr Johnston and DUP MP Gavin Robinson. Wednesday 5 August at 7pm.
This year’s Féile an Phobail runs from Thursday 30 July until Sunday 9 August. While the programme includes hundreds of events, listed below is a selection of those with a political slant.
Vets – Hardtalk sees veteran republicans Bobby Storey and Danny Morrison in conversation about growing up in west of the city and the early days of the Troubles. Danny will also read from his book West Belfast. Andersontown Social Club on Thursday 30 July at 6.30pm. Free.
On the 12th I Proudly Wear – republican Sean (Spike) Murray will debate parading with Orangeman Mervyn Gibson. Why parade? Who parades? Why is it so hard to find tolerance and respect? St Mary’s University College on Friday 31 July at 7pm. [Not the first time they’ve shared a platform on this issue.]
A collection of An Phoblacht articles were released under the title of Uncomfortable Conversations during the recent election campaign. Facilitated by Corrymeela’s Susan McEwen, Uncomfortable Conversations – Steps to Healing and Reconciliation will bring together deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, North Belfast minister and deputy chief Equality Commissioner Lesley Carroll, CRC chair Peter Osborne, and researcher Sophie Long. St Mary’s University College on Monday 3 August at 5pm.
Marriage Equality – Getting from Here to Yes: Amnesty International brings together a panel who are campaigning for marriage equality in the north. St Mary’s University College on Monday 3 August at 7pm.
Yiannis Bournous from the political secretariat of SYRIZA will deliver a talk on A Fight for Democracy, Peace and Social Justice that addresses the wider Greek political situation and the challenges faced by the left wing party. St Mary’s University College on Tuesday 4 August at 5pm.
Conflict or Peace: What difference does it make for women? Monica McWilliams delivers the PJ Mc Grory Memorial Lecture, highlighting women’s experience in conflict and post-conflict on this island and further afield. St Mary’s University College on Tuesday 4 August at 7pm.
Five speakers will explain what the 1916 Proclamation means to them in St Mary’s University College on Wednesday 5 August at 2pm. Actor Tony Devlin will read the Proclamation followed by the thoughts of Phil Scraton, Jacqui Upton, Pádraig Ó Tuama, Marie Quierry and Des Donnelly.
Youth Talks Back returns to Whiterock Leisure Centre. William Crawley will chair a discussion about the issues raised from the floor with PSNI community police officer Paul McGovern, journalist Lyra McKee, Sinn Féin councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile and an as yet unnamed PUL representative. Wednesday 5 August at 2pm.
Later that afternoon in The Proclamation for Prods: What the 1916 Centenary Might Say to Non-Republicans, teacher, songwriter and Presbyterian elder Dave Thompson looks at how someone from a protestant unionist background can share in the 1916 centenary. Duncairn Cultural Arts Centre on Wednesday 5 August at 4pm.
Will the Questions of the Past Ever be Answered? Brian Rowan chairs a discussion with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (who’s calling for uncomfortable conversations) and the PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton (who’d like people to step outside their comfort zones). St Mary’s University College on Thursday 6 August at 7.30pm.
Event cancelled by organisers Cogús to maximise attendance at Anti-Racism World Cup. Britain’s Involvement in Torture in Prisons Part and Present brings together two of the ‘hooded men’ Joe Clarke and Jim Auld with Gerry Brannigan and ex-Guantanamo Bay prisoner Moazzam Begg. Conway Mill on Saturday 8 August at 7pm.
And now for something completely different ..
Malachi O’Doherty’s Back to Landscape exhibition of Donegal photographs opens in Ballaí Bána Gallery in Culturlann on Thursday 30 July at 7pm. Malachi’s giving a talk on What Is Photography For? the following day on Saturday 1 August at 2pm.
If all that talk is too much you could head along to the Belfast Waterworks to watch traditional Irish boating and currach racing! Basic training from 11am-2pm and racing from 2pm-3pm on Saturday 1 August.