Belfast Telegraph

Belfast International Arts Festival: Impact of borders to feature in first confirmed event for 2018

Belfast International Arts Festival has announced the provisional dates for the 56th edition are Tuesday 16 October to Saturday 3 November 2018 inclusive.

On Tuesday, the Festival announced the programme with a new signature work from American social practice artist, Suzanne Lacy, called Across and In-Between.

This will be co-commissioned by the Festival and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary.

Lacy investigates how the border frames identity and intervenes in the routine of everyday life. For this new commission, she co-creates with residents a series of localised gatherings and individual musings on visible and invisible borders.

She will work with communities from both sides of the Irish border on a shared artistic project that will also feature a presentation in Belfast in October 2018.

Making the announcement, Festival CEO and Artistic Director Richard Wakely said: “Borders are in the news as never before, from the continuing migration of peoples from Africa and Middle East into Europe through to the implications of Brexit for those living and working on the island of Ireland.

"However, does a border represent a particular kind of region or social environment? If so, does the border tend to produce a particular kind of culture? And what is the relationship between this environment and its culture?

"The Belfast International Arts Festival is a place for artists and audiences to come together and to explore, exchange and debate such ideas through creative practice.

"We are delighted to continue our relationship with 14-18 NOW with this co-commission of a new participatory work, Across and In-Between from Suzanne Lacy that will explore the impact of the Irish border on identity and everyday life for those who live on or near to it”.

The full Festival Programme is due to be revealed later in the year with booking available for some key events over the coming months.

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