Cairde Sligo Arts Festival working with artist Seamus Nolan & Sligo Traveller Support group


Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is delighted to work with artist Seamus Nolan and Sligo Traveller Support group (STSG) on Hereditas – a collaborative engagement project that sets out to explore representations and misrepresentations of Traveller culture over the past 100 years and how the Irish State has impacted on the culture and social history of Travelling people. 

The project will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Irish Travellers and Traveller art today as part of ART:2023, a nationwide programme of work to celebrate the Decade of Centenaries in partnership between The Arts Council of Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

ART:2023 has been described as ‘an excellent and ambitious programme of public-facing work that encourages inclusivity, diversity, participation, provocation and discourse on identity of place, space and people as the commemoration of Ireland’s significant centenaries draws to a close’. 

Over the course of 100 years Travellers have played an important role in how the Irish state has emerged and evolved.

The sustained difficulties experienced by Traveller communities through the removal of cultural and occupational practices, the criminalisation of nomadism and the inadequacy of policies around accommodation and education for example have and continue to frame the narratives of the community.

In this period of commemoration it is important that the lived history and experience of Traveller communities is as much a part of that conversation. 

This thought-provoking intercultural project aims to creatively challenge ideas on place-based identity development and belonging.

Through a collaboration with Traveller communities and Traveller artists, facilitated by Sligo Traveller Support Group, Hereditas will devise a dynamic and visual program of events and installations which will be presented during Cairde Sligo Arts Festival. 

Festival Director Tara McGowan says:

“The celebration of Inclusion and Diversity has always been at the heart of Cairde. We strive to enable meaningful inclusion and to increase access to exceptional arts activities and experiences for all.

In particular, we are interested in reaching out to communities who may be experiencing isolation, marginalisation and discrimination.

We are delighted to collaborate with Sligo Traveller Support Group who work tirelessly year round to improve the quality of life for Travellers in Sligo; highlighting and raising awareness of issues and counteracting the causes and effects of prejudice, discrimination and racism.

We’re equally delighted to work with visionary and award winning artist Seamus Nolan who has a wealth of experience working in community settings in a respectful and inclusive manner.

We look forward to being part of this exciting nationwide programme and to sharing the results of this collaboration with audiences in July.”

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