St. Patrick’s Festival welcomes this opportunity to continue the dialogue of the #IAmIrish Project. The project initiated by Lorraine Maher in conjunction with the London Irish Centre, addresses the diversity of Irish identity and how we can challenge perceptions of what it looks like to be Irish.
Jim Carroll of Banter and more recently RTE, will host a panel of speakers who will share their stories and experiences of what is or was like growing up in Ireland, the diversity of Irish identity today and what the future might look like for people of mixed Irish heritage. This event will challenge perspectives through storytelling, discussion and performance.
Panellists include Lorraine Maher of #IAMIRISH, spoken word artist Felicia Olusanya aka Felispeaks, direct provision campaigner & founder of Our Table Ellie Kisyombe, historian and academic Professor Mike Cronin Academic Director, Boston College Ireland.
A sister ‘Ireland in Full Colour ’ event took place in London on Friday 16th March with our collaborators the London Irish Centre on featuring Lorraine Maher and hosted by Jim Carroll.
Supported by Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain.
Jim Carroll – Moderator
Jim Carroll is the editor of RTE Brainstorm, a platform for new ideas, perspectives and insights from researchers and academics on Ireland and the world - see RTE.ie/brainstorm for details. He also produces and hosts the Banter series of public events - see thisisbanter.com for information on the 180-plus events held in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US to date.
Lorraine grew up in Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary in the 1960s-1970s where she was the only Black person she knew. Lorraine recognised the lack of representation of the voices and experiences of Black Irish people and was inspired to create the #IAmIrish Project. The #IAmIrish Project celebrates diversity, while opening the dialogue on being of mixed Irish Heritage. The project continues in its endeavours to give a voice to the underrepresented people of Mixed Irish heritages.
Ellie believed that a conversation needed to be started about Direct Provision, and the idea that food was a good way to get the conversation started.
Ellie is a vocal campaigner to end Direct Provision in Ireland as a volunteer with the Irish Refugee Council and spent five years living in Direct Provision. Our Table is a community-driven, non-profit project aiming to highlight the need to end direct provision in Ireland. Their goal is to facilitate change through conversation over food.
FeliSpeaks (aka Felicia Olusanya)
FeliSpeaks is a young Nigerian-Irish spoken word performance artist and writer who is fast becoming one of the most exciting and in demand poets in Ireland, her mind set on changing the face of the art form in Ireland. Having first graced the stage at and won many slam competitions in Dublin’s boisterous college poetry scene, she came to many people’s attention with a show stopping performance at the St Patrick’s Festival Young Blood event at the National Concert Hall alongside the likes of Rusangano Family, Hare Squead and Stephen James Smith.
Since then she has appeared at the Olympia Theatre for the Repeal Project, THIS IS POP BABY’s at Vicar Street, Dublin Castle with RTE Arena on Culture Night, Theatre Stage at Electric Picnic and collaborated with Stomptown Bass on ‘Requiem For the Truth” for the Dublin Fringe Festival. Blurring the lines between music and poetry, she has performed alongside Saul Williams, Super Silly, JyellowL, NC Grey and more.
With poems that explore different ideas of feminism such as ‘Who Will March For Us?’ coming of age experiences like ‘Anxiety’ & ‘Eulogy’ and universal personal experiences, her art is centred on connecting with her audience through honesty, openness and thought provoking observations.
Professor Mike Cronin
Academic Director, Boston College Ireland
Mike Cronin has been the Academic Director of Boston College Ireland since 2005. He was educated at the University of Kent and Oxford University where he was awarded his D.Phil. He has published widely on various aspects of Irish history, and is a renowned scholar in the area of sport. He is a regular media commentator on aspects of Irish and sporting history. While at BC, Professor Cronin has developed a series of major public history projects based around Irish topics including the 2008-12 GAA Oral History Project, and since 2013, the major online repository and real time history project for the Irish Decade of Centenaries, Century Ireland.
Fields of Interest: Irish history; sports history, Irish identities and the diaspora, state spectacles and commemoration.