Welcome to the 2016 Belgrade Irish Festival (BIF), the 4th year in our journey to introduce, share and experiment multi-disciplinary Irish arts in the fertile ground of Belgrade, a dynamic crossroads of European identity, culture and history. One hundred years ago, the 1916 “Rising” was the decisive moment in which a symbolic and yet very real armed rebellion led to the holy grail of Irish independence, banishing unwelcome neighborly dominance (in 1921) from most of the island of Ireland. It was a striking achievement after generational struggles for some 700 years. These historic events are remembered in this year's festival, through a 1916 component; of film and documentaries, a live simulcast reaching out to Irish diaspora as well as a series of short films on 1916 by contemporary Irish film makers, and talks.
BIF 2016 features the launch of the successful Irish film, Room, the premier of Stag, and One Million Dubliners about Ireland's most famous graveyard.
Two Irish documentaries peer into aspects of connections between Ireland and Yugoslavia; one of them, Hubert Butler; Witness to the Future (2016), had its genesis at a BIF lecture on this outstanding Irish essayist at Belgrade University (Faculty of Philology) in 2014. We delve into living Irish culture with a visit by an Irish chef, cooking at the renowned “Delicacy Mondays” at KC Grad, and at Smokvica. And Irish & Serbian visual arts will also be represented with a week-long Jewelry and Photography Exhibition.
St Patrick's day (17th March) will be celebrated worldwide as well as in Belgrade with song and merriment, especially after sunset when the National Parliament, Palace Albania, Hotel Moskva and Ada Bridge will be illuminated in green!
Events will reach a climax with the performance of an edgy Irish cabaret, The Whistling Girl performed by renowned Irish musicians, Honor Heffernan and Trevor Knight on the life & works of American wit, Dorothy Parker; and joined by some talented local musicians O Bato band.
Talks in formal and informal settings will look at the impact of the Easter "Rising" in Serbia, and a more recent rebellion #WakingTheFeminists, following some shocking omissions remembering 1916, then and now.
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Spring and BIF is upon us once again and we invite you to enjoy these and other events inside this year's new and exciting 20 page Festival Programme. Let's go!