Getting your fix of culture can be challenging during lockdown. That's why our British Council Ireland team have decided to share some of the ways they've been engaging with, and experiencing, culture during lockdown.
Mags Walsh - Country Director
Nice White Parents
I can’t seem to get enough of good podcasts currently. Being able to switch off a screen is becoming increasingly important to me so podcasts are offering a different way of staying informed. I’m really enjoying Nice White Parents from the New York Times, looking at public schools in New York and their attempts and failures to be inclusive and integrated. As the parent of an enthusiastic junior infant, it’s a fascinating insight into school and education policy.
Liz McBain - Senior Programme Manager
Liz found herself too busy this month to contribute to the culture fix. However she's reasured us she'll contribute twice as much next month (she hasn't actually, but if it's said on the internet then that makes it true).
Aysylu Mutigullina - Programme and Partnerships Manager
One undisputable highlight of August for me was a long-overdue visit to 14 Henrietta Street, an old Georgian building, turned tenements, turned museum of social history of Dublin life. From glorious 18th century parties to inhumane living conditions of tenants in early 1900s, the guided tour takes you on a walk through time and brings back the voices of those who wandered these corridors and stairs before us.
The next four items on my Culture Fix are three books and a film: “Don’t Touch My Hair” by Emma Dabiri, "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race" by Reni Eddo-Lodge, “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo and “BlacKkKlansman” by Spike Lee. It’s a no brainer to see how all these are related, and I can’t recommend each of them enough – funny and heart-breaking, factual and “inspired by real events”, they explore and expose the ugly past and present of racism in Ireland, the UK and the USA.
Aoife Ward - Office and Project Administration
Now that we’re starting to settle back into the colder months again (hello woolly jumpers) I’ve also settled back into my autumn routine of curling up on my couch with a cup of tea and reading for hours (or at least until my housemate comes in and starts watching the loudest movie possible). My most recent read is Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton which was a recommendation I wasn’t sure would be my cup of tea. About 5 pages in I realised I was wrong on that, and by half way through the book I was frantically Googling whether or not Alderton had another novel coming out (she does, it’s called Ghosts, and I’ve already informed my mum it’s what she’s getting me for my birthday). Everything I Know About Love is a fantastic autobiography that I’ve thus far recommended to at least 8 people and I’m now recommending to anyone that reads this (you’re welcome).
Reading isn’t all I’ve been doing this month. I also took some time last week to watch Series 5 of the BBC’s Two Minute Masterpiece, an initiative which offers emerging filmmakers in Northern Ireland a chance to showcase their work. The films are incredible, and all 5 series are free to watch on BBC iPlayer.