2018 John Hewitt International Summer School (23-28 July) – talks, poetry, music & debate

This year’s John Hewitt International Summer School runs in Armagh between Monday 23 and Saturday 28 July. The programme prominently features a quote from John Hewitt’s The Frontier:

“We pass here into another allegiance: expect new postage stamps, new prices, manifestos, and brace ourselves for the change. But the landscape does not alter…”

The festival theme of ‘facing change: shifting borders and allegiances’ pervades the week of talks, poetry, music, and debate …

Monday 23 July > The opening address on Transcending Boundaries of the Past and of the Future will be delivered at 11.15am by Dr Martin Mansergh, a former Fianna Fáil Minister of State at the Departments of Finance and Arts. Later at 4.30pm, Peter Osborne will chair a panel discussing why the Civil Rights movement was replaced by the violent conflict. He’ll be joined around the table by Gregory Campbell, Colm Gildernew, Trevor Ringland and Brig Rodgers. And from 7pm, Malachi O’Doherty will be in conversation with author David Park about his recent novel Travelling in a Strange Land and photographer Sonya Whitefield (whose exhibition accompanying the book will be on display in The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre throughout the Armagh festival).

Tuesday 24 July > Facing change: the identity perspective is the title of Nabeel Goheer’s talk at 4.30pm. He’s assistant secretary general at the Commonwealth Secretariat. (The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation with 54 member countries that promotes peace, democracy, human rights and development.) At 8.30pm Duke Special returns to the summer school with Ulaid, with a mix of contemporary songwriting and traditional music.

Wednesday 25 July > Emeritus Professor Arthur Aughey will deliver the Centre for Cross Border Studies’ lecture at 9.45am. Later that afternoon at 4.30pm, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh will discussing Writing & Refugees with Ian Duhig, who recently edited an anthology of work from immigrant communities in Leeds. That will be followed by the launch of Mariusz Smiejek’s exhibition of photographs – Daily Lives: Asylum Seekers in Italy and Ireland – at 6pm.

Thursday 26 July > Linen Hall Library will share some of their rich political collection in an illustrated presentation at 2.45pm about their archive which documents activities and views of all parties to the conflict and subsequent peace process. At 4.30pm, Kelly Andrews, Kellie Turtle and Betty Carlisle will look back on the anniversaries of the Civil Rights movement and the Representation of the People Act 1918 and ask whether there is Unfinished Business in establishing equal rights between women and men. And at 7pm in The Man From God Knows Where, writers and broadcasters, Jane Cassidy and Maurice Leyden will tell the story in words and music of Thomas Russell, a soldier, a revolutionary and the first librarian of the Linen Hall Library.

Friday 27 July > Emeritus Professor Monica McWilliams will delve into her recent research project at Ulster University to talk about Women waging peace: the challenges encountered in making and implementing the Good Friday Agreement at 9.45am.

Cross-posted from Alan in Belfast.

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