Belfast Agreement anniversary to be marked by arts events

Literature, music and film among cultural events 20 years after historical accord signed

Kevin Rowland: one of those interviewed in  “Trouble Songs: Music and Conflict in Northern Ireland” by Stuart Bailie. Photograph: Steve Thorne/Redferns

Kevin Rowland: one of those interviewed in “Trouble Songs: Music and Conflict in Northern Ireland” by Stuart Bailie. Photograph: Steve Thorne/Redferns

 

The Northern arts world is marking the 20th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement with a range of expressions including film, music, poetry, literary readings, paintings and dance.

A new book, Trouble Songs: Music and Conflict in Northern Ireland, by Belfast-based music journalist and broadcaster Stuart Bailie, will be previewed at the British Council’s Peace and Beyond conference at Belfast City Hall on Tuesday.

It features interviews with Bono, Christy Moore, The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, Orbital, Kevin Rowland, Terri Hooley, The Rubberbandits and The Miami Showband survivors reflecting on the events of the conflict.

Content includes Christy Moore explaining why he sang The Time Has Come at the graveside of the late deputy first minster Martin McGuinness and an explanation of how the killing of Thomas “Kidso” Reilly in 1983 led to Gary Kemp writing Through the Barricades and Bananarama recording the song Rough Justice.

The premiere of a short film exploring the enduring legacy of the conflict is to be screened in Belfast on Wednesday.

Cinematic tribute

Hear My Voice will be introduced by US senator and peace process champion George Mitchell.

The cinematic tribute to those who suffered loss between 1968-1998 is based on artist Colin Davidson’s elegiac exhibition of 18 paintings, Silent Testimony, which is being exhibited at the Ulster Museum until April 22nd.

The film contains the words of victims’ relatives telling the human stories behind the dead as cameras centre on a special hanging of the exhibition in a former ironworks building in Belfast’s Riddel Warehouse.

On Thursday, the Just For One Day project, part funded by the foreign affairs and trade department, will feature 10 artists in 10 Belfast venues marking 20 years since the Belfast Agreement as well as the 3,600 people who died during the conflict with a range of performances.

Work includes poetry, music, painting and a dancer falling down and getting back up over 3,600 seconds.