THE OTHER SIDE With rumblings of a border poll, a
n on-going Brexit roadshow and the recent Northern Ireland election results tilting the balance of electoral power away from Unionism, 2019 may well go down as a turning point in history. A new group exhibition has just opened at DortmunderU, their Zentrum für Kunst und Kreativität, which focuses on the personal, geopolitical and cultural effects of borders and social division. Featuring the work of Enda Bowe, Seán Hillen and Dragana Jurišic (past alumni of our In The Frame section) as well as Willie Doherty, Jesse Jones, and Kathy Prendergast, The Other Side is curated by Anne Mager. U-Museum, Dortmund until March 17 dortmunder-u.de ROADMAP Michael McDermott THREE CASTLES BURNING IN THE MIDDLE Constant streaming… if last year started with the sublime If Beale Street Could Talk soundtrack by Nicholas Britell, then let 2020 kick off with Queen & Slim, Melina Matsoukas’s terrific directorial debut centred on a black Bonnie and Clyde story for our times. Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) scores and helms an epic soundtrack featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill, Moses Sumney, Duke Ellington, The Pharcyde, Wintertime, Fela Kuti, Solange, Luther Vandross…For realz. 10 We have to admit the late Mary Lavin passed us by until we heard Colm Tóibín’s most wondrous reading of her story ‘In the Middle of the Fields’ on the New Yorker podcast. It came from a 1961 issue of the magazine and is utterly transfixing. Upon her passing in 1996, the late Eileen Battersby wrote, “‘In the Middle of the Fields’ is as moving an examination of vulnerability and loneliness as has ever been written. But then many of Lavin’s stories are among the finest written this century because she understood the fine balance of sympathy, intelligence, humanity and, above all, honesty.” In the Middle of… is an eclectic mix of original performance to include music, theatre, readings, spoken-word and song, in an exciting celebration of Lavin. Curated by playwright Deirdre Kinahan, a collection of contemporary artists will respond to Lavin’s evocative short story collection ‘In the Middle of the Fields” through their chosen artform. Artists include Steve Wickham (The Waterboys), poet Lewis Kenny and writer Sinead Moriarty. Rediscover or simply discover one of our most important, and somewhat ignored, writers. Unitarian Church, Friday January 10, €22.50 Donal Fallon extends his most welcome historical embrace of our city into podcast format with Three Castles Burning. The Come Here To Me blogger and walking tour guru delves into the social history of our patch, bringing forgotten characters and stories to the fore. To date, it’s explored The Bachelors Walk Massacre of 1914, Uileann Pipe master and folk revivalist Séamus Ennis and the most beloved watering hole that is Grogan’s. Alas, it didn’t get a chance to discuss the expense sparred toilet make-over of 2019. podtail.com/en/podcast/three-castles-burning/ Kind of blue… The Pantone peeps have designated ‘Classic Blue’ as their Colour of the Year for 2020. Pantone 19-4052 is “a timeless and enduring blue hue…elegant in its simplicity” but also seems a little drab Tory.