In conjunction with the exhibition Incoming and Grid (Moria), Butler Gallery has programmed a series of events that aims to bring us closer to the stories of people who have been forced to migrate or seek refugee status in Ireland. Migrants and refugees are often purely seen as a statistic in newspapers or on TV, however, behind each number is a person with a very personal set of circumstances. It is important that these people’s experiences are known and understood in order to raise awareness and compassion within wider Irish society.
The Making of Incoming & Grid (Moria);
Richard Mosse in conversation with Sean O'Hagan, critic for The Guardian
The arresting imagery captured by Richard Mosse for his installations Incoming and Grid (Moria) are at once immediate and intimate and at the same time at a remove by virtue of the photographer’s artistic process. Complimented by Ben Frost’s aesthetic soundscapes these immersive works allow us glimpses into the frightening world of what it is to be a refugee in the 21st century. This specially pre-recorded 'in-conversation' gives insights into the creative process in the making of these immersive video installations.
A Spotlight on Migration; The Role of Museums and Galleries
Wednesday 7 July, 1-2pm
Anna O’Sullivan, Director, Butler Gallery in discussion with Sophie Henderson, Director Migration Museum, and Hina Khan, artist.
Museums and galleries are increasingly highlighting the issues of migration and refugees within their permanent and temporary exhibitions, collecting strategies and public engagement programming. This in-discussion event explores the extent to which cultural organisations can offer more expansive forums of debate for these issues and how they may differ from more generic mass media reporting of such events.
Sophie Henderson was formerly a barrister and immigration judge and has led the Migration Museum since 2013 on its journey towards delivering a permanent, landmark new cultural institution for the UK, to put the long and important story of the movement of people, both to and from the country, right at centre stage, where it belongs.
Hina Khan is an artist from Pakistan specialising in Miniature Painting who moved to Ireland in 2015. Combining traditional and experimental methods, her work engages with social issues around immigration, humanitarian crises such as prostitution, gender discrimination and gender restriction. As Hina states “I am creating a dialogue through my art. My art is a reflection of inner connection, immigrants, nomadic artists are part of this land, migration is deeply rooted in my blood. I have carried two cultures, one where I was born and the other is this culture where I am trying to re-root myself”.
What Statistics Don’t Tell Us
Wednesday 21 July, 1-2pm
Fiona Loughnane, NCAD in conversation with Tom Felle, Head of Journalism and Communications, NUI Galway and Nick Henderson, CEO, Irish Refugee Council.
Migrant and refugee stories are for most people seen through a lens of statistics and cold figures. It is rare we get to see the person at the heart of the story. Media reporting is often inaccurate and distorting which in turn can negatively affect public perceptions of the very people most in need of assistance and help. How does journalism shape public perception of the refugee crisis and what strategies are required to insert empathy into the script?
Fiona Loughnane is a lecturer in the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (School of Visual Culture) and a PhD candidate in Maynooth University (Dept. of English). Her PhD research investigates the photographic economies of Irish Catholic missions to Africa. Recent publications include an article on the use of Congo atrocity photographs in commemorations of Easter 1916 (Review of Irish Studies in Europe 2:2) and a forthcoming book chapter on photograph albums produced by Irish missionaries in Kenya. She is a member of the research collective, Photography/Archives/Ireland, which has organised a series of symposia engaging with photographic theory and practice from both historic and contemporary perspectives, see: https://photographyarchivesireland.wordpress.com/
Tom Felle is Head of Journalism and Communication at NUI Galway. A former career journalist and foreign correspondent, he started his career with the Connacht Tribune and worked with the Irish Independent in Ireland for six years. He was Deputy Editor of the Irish Echo in Sydney from 2001 to 2004, and from 2006-2008 he served as Bureau Chief of the Leb News Agency in Beirut, Lebanon. He has worked in higher education since 2009. His research interests include digital news, verification, data-driven journalism, so-called "fake news" and dis-information, and trust, transparency and accountability in democracy.
Nick Henderson is the CEO of the Irish Refugee Council. Previously he managed Amnesty International Ireland’s work on economic, social and cultural rights, was Legal Officer with the IRC Independent Law Centre from 2011-2014 and also worked with the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland on the criminalisation of forced labour. Prior to coming to Ireland he was a legal representative for people seeking asylum with the Refugee Legal Centre in London from 2004-2010.
Migration: My Story in One Object
June, July & August 2021
Butler Gallery in collaboration with the Fr. McGrath Family Resource Centre and Kilkenny & Carlow Education Training Board present a project in which people who have migrated or had to seek refugee status in Ireland tell their stories through personal objects. We all have items that are precious to us, some can be extraordinary in nature, others very ordinary. Yet whatever the nature of the object, they all have the power to hold memories of place, of people, of events that happened in our lives. Working with professional photographers, participants on this project get to tell their extraordinary stories through the medium of one object that is special to them. Results of the initiative will be displayed in the gallery’s Learning Centre during July and August and on the gallery website.