Raising the bar in Temple Bar

by Gazette Reporter

The Temple Bar Company will bring the quarter back to its roots as a prime cultural centre, with a weekend of arts and culture with a political twist.
The Temple Bar Arts and Politics Weekend takes place from November 19 to 22 with a range of free events to celebrate the area’s incredible cultural organisations and the indigenous creativity that stems from these unique cobbled streets in Dublin city centre.
Along with these artistic events there will be a number of talks, debates and seminars on Irish politics, and a number of events which combine both aspects.
This unique pairing of themes gives Dubliners the opportunity to explore the unique buildings, and venues that make Temple Bar so charming, and Ireland’s turbulent political landscape at the same time. Speaking to The Gazette, organiser Martin Harte of the Temple Bar Company said the aim of the festival is to promote the local arts organisations within the area.
“The aim of this is to work with the existing organisations in the area and return Temple bar to its roots as a cultural quarter and show people that there’s a lot of culture there that they might not be aware of,” he said.
He said the political aspect of the festival is something that the company has been looking to develop for quite some time.
“We work in the city centre and politics is visible everywhere we walk, whether it’s an issue with planning or tourism, politics is all around us. We found as an organisation that there’s sort of a gap between politics and the [average person] in the city centre and we wanted to address that,” he said.
He believes one of the biggest draws of the festival will be the symposium, The Dark Arts: photography and politics. This event explores the late Charles Haughey, controversial former Taoiseach, and the advent of the political photo-op in Ireland.
This photographic exhibition takes place at the Gallery of Photography on Thursday, November 19 at 2pm.
The exhibition will feature a keynote address by Professor Kevin Rafter on Charles Haughey: power, politics and public image, along with two panel discussions.
The first of these will be Politics in the Age of the Photo Opportunity: the Role of Photo Reportage and Photojournalism in the World of Spin, followed by Twenty-five Years of Temple Bar – Haughey’s Grand Project.
“They’re [the photo’s] quite interesting, you’re looking back into a different era. I think that’s probably going to be one of the highlights.”
For more information visit: www.viewtemplebar.com

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