Ten Top Events at Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics 2022

The Imagine! Belfast Festival is looking forward to welcoming back audiences to its 8th annual programme of events taking place during 21-27 March.

According to Peter O’Neill., Festival Director: “With only a week to go before the start of the Imagine! Belfast Festival, events are filling up fast with a number sold out, so its time to get booking!”.

The festival of 185 events is packed with major speakers and performers but here are 10 events not to be missed.  

  1. Michael Ignatieff On Consolation
    In this interview the internationally renowned historian of ideas and Booker Prize-finalist will discuss his new book On Consolation and how great figures in history, literature, music, and art searched for solace while facing tragedies and crises.


  1. Michael Longley in conversation with William Crawley
    This interview with the legendary poet, interspersed with readings, will examine the thorny relationship between poetry and politics and the artistic challenges of addressing contentious political and cultural issues.


  1. She/Her/They/Them/We

Second Collective presents for exhibition a series of artworks by women artists in the emerging stages of their practice.  The exhibition at Arcade Studios will include work by Martina Hynan, Sarah Louise Lordan, Michaela Nash, Nina Oltarzewska and Eimear Nic Roibeaird.  Rachel Macmanus will create a durational public performance at Vault Artist Studios, Belfast.


  1. What can we do about online abuse?
    This online and in-person discussion will examine this growing problem. Hosted by InsideIreland.ie with Mick Fealty, founder of Slugger O’Toole; Amanda Ferguson, freelance journalist; Ciaran O’Connor, Institute for Strategic Dialogue; and Dr Orna Young,  Executive Director of FactCheckNI taking part.


  1. The Imagine! Film programme

With Queens Film Theatre and the Strand Arts Centre, we are delighted to present a wonderful series of screenings including a focus on film censorship with leading academic Dr Sian Barber (QUB) and featuring a number iconic films originally banned in Belfast.


  1. Limin-Alley N:E:W

In this exciting community project, six artists will bring installations, artworks and imaginative new ideas to the often neglected back alleyways of Belfast. Working in partnership with the local residents of Marsden Gardens (north Belfast), Reid Street (east) and Rodney Drive (west) a range of events including talks, tours and workshops will welcome visitors to these spaces between 12pm and 7pm during the 26 & 27 March.


  1. Democracy Day on 25 March

With 11 events, this exciting series of events will examine the state of local politics and the ways we can address the most pressing issues of our times. Featuring keynote speakers such as ex-government minister, Richard Needham, and leading political theorists Jon Alexander, Professor John Garry, Nicholas Whyte and international and local contributors, this series of free events is not to be missed.


  1. How to Investigate: Investigative Journalism Skills for Everybody
    The Centre for Investigative Journalism brings its renowned training to Belfast for journalists and non-journalists alike to learn some investigative skills and hear different approaches to story-telling. Featuring a range of expert journalists, including Chris Moore, this afternoon event is free.


  1. Verboten und verbannt! Degenerate Music
    Spark Opera and Niall Kinsella presents a programme of music censored and suppressed by the Nazis. Characterised by film chansons, operetta arias and cabaret numbers, this concert features ‘degenerate’ music the Third Reich expressly banned. 


  1. The Belfast Battle of Ideas

There will be three lively panel discussions from the Academy of Ideas covering issues as diverse as freedom of speech, online safety, campus culture and culture wars. With 11 speakers from Britain and Ireland, these provocative debates will stimulate a dynamic discussion on a range of important issues.


The full programme is available at imaginebelfast.com.

The Imagine! Belfast Festival is generously supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Belfast City Council; the National Lottery Community Fund; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades Reconciliation Fund; VSB Foundation; Queens University Belfast; Community Relations Council; The Open University Northern Ireland; Film Hub NI and Ulster University.


Further Festival Information: 

Peter ONeill, Festival Director 

T. 07835381040

E. peter@imaginebelfast.com

About Imagine! Belfast

  • For full programme details please visit https://imaginebelfast.com
  • For regular updates, news and views – check us out on Facebook (bit.ly/imaginebelfast) and Twitter (@ImagineBelfast #ImagineBelfast)
  • The festival is an independent, non-profit, registered charity (NIC 101004) with minimal administrative costs and no staff or offices.
  • The festival is not aligned with any political party or group and is strictly non-partisan.
  • The aims of the festival are to encourage participation from people not normally involved in political debate and to stimulate a discussion on new ideas on politics, culture and activism.