D8 festival is ‘a cultural destination in and of itself’

Dublin 8’s annual cultural festival, Culture Date with Dublin 8, returns this week, May 8th to 12th, with a variety of events to celebrate the area’s rich history.

Festival curator Grace McEvoy says that the festival aims to “encourage people to get inspired by the history and heritage that’s on their doorstep.”

The festival celebrates one of Dublin’s most historic districts through events such as historical talks and tours, art and film exhibitions at locations across ‘D8’ as well as events tailored towards kids in Kilmainham Gaol and Marsh’s library.

Since its inaugural year in 2017, the festival has grown from a two-day event with seven programme partners to this year’s five-day event with “over 60 programme partners”, a growth which McEvoy described as “almost like doubling in size every year”.

One of this year’s notable exhibitions is a collaboration with ‘Humans of Dublin’, a photographer who McEvoy said was invited to “shine a spotlight on the community of The Liberties” through photos and interviews with members of the community.

The ‘Humans of Dublin’ exhibition takes place at The Bank on James Street, which McEvoy described as “very raw, very real, very human” adding that the exhibition “celebrates the people of The Liberties, their sense of community, challenges that they face, and the triumph’s that they’ve had.”

While celebrating the area’s culture and heritage, the festival aims to “break down the barriers between the public and cultural institutions” by keeping most events free, with McEvoy adding that “culture should be something accessible for everybody to enjoy and to engage with.”

The festival has also worked to preserve local history, by making historical sites accessible to the public, as in 2017, in collaboration with Dublin Cemeteries Trust, “they (Dublin Cemeteries Trust) decided to rededicate and reopen Goldenbridge cemetery to the public.”

As a result of the festival, Goldenbridge Cemetery in Inchicore is now a “green space that people can go to during the day”. McEvoy adds: “it’s a really nice kind of preservation story.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *