We know that culture has the power to shape our values, understandings and views. As such, how film and TV portrays ‘care’ between generations and individuals can strongly reflect and shape perceptions of this highly politicised and undervalued area of work.
This discussion will consider representations of care and will be chaired by the Head of Faculty of Film, Art & Creative Technologies at IADT, Ronán Ó’Muirthile (pictured), with panelists Professor of Gender & Social Justice and English Literature at Trent University, Sally Chivers, author Michael Harding, and visual artist Amanda Coogan.
The Bealtaine Discussion Series 2023 is devised and presented in association with Dr. Michaela Schrage-Frueh (School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures) and Dr. Maggie O’Neill (Irish Centre for Social Gerontology) from the University of Galway.
Rónán Ó Muirthile
Rónán Ó Muirthile is a member of the Film ÉU management board. He is the Head of Faculty of Film Art & Creative Technologies at IADT in Dún Laoghaire. The faculty has a student cohort of over 1600 full time and part time students. He is responsible for all aspects of academic delivery, quality assurance, budgeting, administration and strategic development for the faculty. He is an active practitioner. His credits include all genres of TV; high end, award winning documentary films, international formats and some of the best-known and loved Irish prime time programmes. The documentary ‘Flann O’Brien: The Lives of Brian’ which he wrote & produced was awarded the IFTA for best single documentary in 2007 and ‘Connected’, a twenty part series he series produced, won the IFTA for best Constructed Reality in 2015.
Full Professor of Gender & Social Justice and English Literature at Trent University, Sally Chivers is the author of The Silvering Screen along with other works focused on the social and cultural politics of health, aging, and disability. Her podcast Wrinkle Radio fights ageism one story at a time.
Amanda Coogan is an internationally recognised and critically acclaimed artist working across the medias of live art, sculpture, installation and photography. Her works are immersive, non-verbal, embodied experiences. Her expertise lies in her ability to condense an idea to its very essence and communicate it through her body. Sign Language is a touchstone, born hearing to Deaf parents, this visual and manual upbringing deeply informs her practice. Her 2015 exhibition in the Dublin’s RHA; I’ll sing you a song from around the Town, was described by Artforum as ‘performance art at its best’.
Using gesture and context Coogan makes multi-faceted works that leave ghostly trails in the memory. She is celebrated for her compelling durational performances. Her practice moves freely between solo performances, dynamic group works and living installation. She explores contested sites and minority narratives, distilling these into urgent contemporary performances. These works stand at the forefront of some of the most exciting collaborative performances with marginalised communities. The Irish Times have said, ‘Coogan, whose work usually entails ritual, endurance and cultural iconography, is the leading practitioner of performance in the country’.
Michael Harding is a poet, playwright and novelist. Many of his plays have been produced by the Abbey Theatre and his novels include Priest, The Trouble With Sarah Gullion, and Bird In The Snow. He has received numerous awards for his writing and theatre work, including the Steward Parker Award for Theatre,(1990), the Bank of Ireland RTE award for excellence in the arts, ( 1990 ) and the Hennessy Award for short stories. He was Writer in Association with The National Theatre in 1993 , was short listed for the Irish Times Aer Lingus Literature Award in 1989, and was Writer in Residence at Trinity College in 1999. In an innovative column in the Irish Times he has been chronicling ordinary life in midland Ireland for over a decade through memoir, story, fictions and metafiction, and the project has also evolved into seven volumes of best selling memoir; – Staring at Lakes, / Hanging with the Elephant, / Talking to Strangers, / On Tuesday’s I’m a Buddhist/ Chest Pain / What is Beautiful in the Sky / A cloud where the birds rise. This commitment to story and memory is an all encompassing project to reshape the traditional concept of Seanchas and Dinnseanchas, from the ancient tradition, into a modern mould that embodies contemporary experience and is available on various platforms in diverse media.