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Creativity + Conflict

Belfast International Festival of Performance Art Symposium

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Tuesday 21st March

Time: 13:30 - 17:00

Creativity + Conflict brings together artists from diverse geographic locations to share their experiences of how they have developed creative strategies within situations of war, or in responses to issues of social injustice. The symposium consists of three intimate ‘in conversations’ between pairs of artists whose practices resonate with both shared vital questions and also connective artistic sensibilities.

For the first conversation artists Brian Connolly and Brian Patterson will reconstruct and re-evaluate the legacy of Available Resources, which was a landmark project that took place in Derry, and fundamentally impacted on the history of Irish performance art. 

The second conversation is between artists Marilyn Arsem and Yaryna Shumska, who have not previously met in person but have been in dialogue through the COVID pandemic with Arsem facilitating virtual workshops for Shumska’s students in Lviv, Ukraine. Arsem is a US artist based in Boston who has created numerous projects that draw a subtle but critical focus towards conflict and aftermath in specific locations globally. Similarly, Shumska applies a deceptively gentle, embodied approach to her performance gestures, as a means of raising attention to realities of loss and destruction. 

The third conversation between Selina Bonelli and Andriy Helytovch will focus on the human cost of war and the consequences of how both short-term and long-term patterns of migration impact upon individuals and communities. Bonelli’s practice reacts upon sites stigmatised by historic memory, drawing their negative identity into the presentence. Whereas, Helytovch will speak from a perspective of enduring the current war in Ukraine, and the difficulties of sustaining creatively amongst the realities of conflict and social attrition.

Partners: Ulster University Ulster Presents, The MAC Belfast, University of the Atypical, British Council UK / Ukraine season in partnership with the Ukrainian Institute.

Image credit: HOUR, Andriy Helytovych, Bergen International Performance Festival, 2020. Photo Jordan Hutchings