Spring Festival in Carnlough

Carnlough Harbour

Saturday 25th April 2015
Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough

This year’s festival celebrated debate and diversity with a day-long series of events exploring identity in contemporary Northern Ireland.

Martina Devlin at Spring Festival

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin – The House Where It Happened

The House Where It Happened is a chilling retelling of real-life events that took place in Islandmagee, Co Antrim in the 18th century. Martina Devlin examines how fear of difference fuels hysteria, when conflicts of class, gender and superstition devastates a community and the lives of eight women amongst them.

Ciaran Carson at Spring Festival

Ciaran Carson

Stephen Sexton at Spring Festival

Stephen Sexton

Ciaran Carson & Stephen Sexton

One of Northern Ireland’s foremost contemporary poets, Ciaran Carson reads alongside new writer Stephen Sexton, who presents his debut collection ‘Oils’. Two poets who explore their surroundings through language convey how a city is coming to terms with change, struggling to reconcile its past with the contemporary imaginations of its inhabitants.

Peter Osborne Spring Festival

Peter Osborne

Peter Osborne

‘Politicians do not exclusively own the peace process. As citizens we own it.’ Former Parades Commission chairman and current chair of the Community Relations Council Peter Osborne provides his take on tackling segregation in all aspects of contemporary civic society and explores how to empower communities to work towards reconciliation.

Vincent Creelan at Spring Festival

Vincent Creelan

Nisha Tandon at Spring Festival

Nisha Tandon

How are we learning to live with difference?

How is Northern Ireland engaging with diversity to promote social cohesion? Are old tribal divisions forming new patterns of behaviour that hold back progression towards a peaceful society? LGBT activist Vincent Creelan joins Peter Osborne and Nisha Tandon, chief executive of intercultural arts organisation Arts Ekta in this panel debate.

The Festival is part of the John Hewitt Society’s talks programme, with the aim of using literature to bring cultural debate and discussion to rural communities.