Considerations: Dublin Selected *287


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It's Culture Night, the Rugby World Cup is kicking off and the Fringe Festival is wrapping up but in many respects all of these events pale in comparison to those raising attention and funds to address the unfolding refugee crisis. It's magnitude makes it the largest one since the second world war which is both shocking and saddening.

One such gathering is No Boundaries in aid of The Irish Red Cross in the Academy on Friday.

Whose wants you to consider a good cause this week? Michael or Stephanie?


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This week we spoke to Iseult Byrne, Deputy Director of the Dublin2020 team. We chatted about all things Dublin; what sets us apart, what it would mean for us to be crowned victorious, and the likelihood of Dublin receiving the coveted title. Dublin2020 also detail to us their exciting plans for the upcoming Culture Night 2015, an event not to be missed.

Photo credit: Aoife Herrity

Can you give us a brief introduction about the Dublin2020 bid?

The bid's about building an exciting new story for Dublin that's based on shared ideas, inclusion and confidence. Win or lose, I think the bid process will transform the city profoundly. It's about recognising that culture has the power not just to inspire or entertain but also to change the lives of people in our communities and neighbourhoods.

What do you think sets Dublin apart from its neighbouring counterparts?

Dublin's got so much to offer. I genuinely think you can feel a new cultural energy around the city – from new independent venues, to urban art, to ordinary people getting involved in everything from dance to digital art and music.

What have been some of the challenges faced since the bid began?

Well, we're a capital city, with a big population. Connecting and engaging with as many Dubliners as possible and making them as excited as we are about Dublin2020 is a challenge. Also, getting Dubliners to recognize that culturally, we are very much a European city. We often look to the US or UK and sometimes neglect all that Europe has to offer, on a cultural level. I think it's changing though, and having so many different European people who now call Dublin home is definitely helping the process.

What do you think it would mean for Dublin to win?

It's going to mean not just cultural change but social change. That's what we're aiming for. We've been speaking to thousands of Dubliners so far about what they want from Dublin2020 and really get this strong feedback that the city's hungry for a change, that we can do things differently.

Over the previous three months you have been talking to Dubliners about their city, could you tell us some aspects people love about Dublin?

It has been truly inspirational to sense from people who have been in touch with the Dublin2020 team as to how much they value the city. There are those who are born here, and those who have chosen to live here, and when you put all of their wishes for their lives together (which we have done on our ideas walls) you can see that Dubliners enjoy the community of their city. Dubliners definitely want their Dublin to be a stronger community for all citizens of the city to enjoy their lives in, so that they can express, enjoy and share their cultural heart. We have been talking to Dubliners, about their visions of Dublin now, as well as their hopes and wishes for Dublin in the future. By including as many people, businesses and organisations in the conversation as possible, we are aiming at ensuring that the Dublin2020 programme that will be proposed will include projects designed by many, for many.

You have an event planned for Culture Night. Can you tell us some of its main tenets, and what people should expect on the night?

It's going to be a great evening on and around O'Connell Street. We'll be sharing cups of tea in our special Tea and Chats Tent. You can learn about 8 different world cultures in our World Library Tent. You can get a quick introduction to the language, history and crafts of European and other cultures via our Cultural Speed Dating area. An idea-generating robot will be buzzing around looking for everyone's ideas for Dublin and a community mural will take place where everyone is invited to join in. We will also be featuring a European Portal – a live video feed to other European cities where people from Dublin can connect to people around Europe and find out about their cities' culture! There are a few other surprises along the way, for adults and kids of all ages. We really invite you to come along and enjoy some games, culture and ideas come to life.

Where did you draw inspiration for the event?

Really the inspiration came from the people of Dublin during the many 'Tea and Chats' conversations we have had with many groups all over the city over the past few months. They all wrote their ideas for Dublin and its culture on post-it notes which we have installed on an ideas wall in the office. We are trying to animate this for everyone and would like the event to express these ideas (and the way we collected them) and represent some of the specific ideas too. We are not finished talking with people and still want to hear from everyone about what they want and need from their city. The Culture Night event is a fun way to celebrate community and its importance in any city, while highlighting some positive changes that should be thought about in the Bid for European Capital of Culture.

Do you think Dublin have a good chance of winning the coveted title?

Of course, and we are working really hard to try to make this happen. But, really, it's a win-win situation for Dublin. All the conversations we've started and the connections we've made between Dubliners are already having an effect. Win or lose, the legacy of the bid process will be that we've started making positive change for the city.

Photo Credit: Aoife Herrity

Le Help

Le Cool is a free weekly magazine distributed every Thursday that features a selection of cultural events and leisure activities, revealing the things you really shouldn't miss. We filter out, among other things, the best art, film, music, and club nights, as well as a careful selection of extraordinary bars, restaurants and other fine places. Le Cool content is chosen because we believe it is worth your time and will never be traded for money.

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