“Our oldest myths tell of people who came to this land from afar. Ireland welcomed them and the land remembered them all.”
This Land is a new production that takes place in National Concert Hall this Saturday March 16. In collaboration with Raymond Keane, singer Farah Elle, Candlelit Theatre and a group of singers, musicians, rappers, poets and performers who recently arrived in Ireland, the group will weave Ireland’s oldest mythological tales with the experiences of the new people who come to this land today.
Farah Elle tells us what drew her to the project.
“A passion for using the arts to express our deeper feelings, make important conversations happen and guide positive progress in society,” she says. Farah also says she wants the audience to take a sense of self-reflection away from the project. “Alongside a refreshing perspective on the truth, what goes on around us everyday, what ‘inclusion’ really means and what it means for everybody to have a voice.”
This Land will be a theatrical experience, expressed through storytelling, song, spoken word, music and movement, exploring the question ‘What is it to belong?’.
One of the artists involved is Sate, a 19 year old hip hop artist originally from Malawi, who has performed at Electric Picnic and Culture Night. He wants people to get to know each other through this project.
“I hope that the audience will appreciate diversity and acknowledge the fact that the world is changing and people move from place to place and you don’t have to be afraid of people that don’t look like you.
“Obviously being from a migrant background I felt like it made sense to be part of the play because of the message and picture the land is trying to convey, and also just being an artist I’m always looking for new experiences.”
Mimmie Melaba echoes these sentiments. She’s a 20 year old spoken word artist and singer, originally from Zimbabwe who has been in Ireland for six years.
“The opportunity to be heard by people, an opportunity to showcase my work as a spoken word poet, and a chance to work with amazing people [is what got her involved in This Land].”
“I hope the audience would take away from it that it’s more than just a play, that refugees are not bad people and that we are seen for who we really are.”
Actor Aron Hugo Hegarty is also involed in This Land and says that it was Síobhra Quinlan who got him involved.
“She was the one who asked me to be involved. And I was excited by the idea of working with a group of non national artists on our shared Irish mythology; one that speaks of the tribes of people who came here from the south. I wanted to see what it would inspire in them, and I also wanted to bridge a gap between these different cultures and our own ever changing Irish culture.
“I hope [the audience] will see how much this land of ours has to offer everyone who comes here, and how they continue to shape our culture around us every day. We all came from far away at some stage, and today is no different. There are still people coming here. Not all of them can stay. So I hope people connect with something greater and more inclusive than just Irish national pride after seeing this show.”
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