ANAM: A unique North Dublin Cultural Festival

In September 2017, DCU launched its strategic plan for 2017- 2022, ‘Talent, Discovery and Transformation’, which emphasised the University’s intent to develop significant initiatives in the areas of creativity and culture. One of the plan’s strategic goals outlines the University’s ambition to develop significant cultural engagements with the communities in the region of the University and, in particular, to collaborate with them in the establishment of a North Dublin Cultural Quarter.

Through its expanded footprint across three academic campuses in North Dublin, and the enhanced cohort of talented students and staff arising from its recent transformation, DCU is now in a unique position to lead the development of this cultural quarter that will impact greatly on the lives of those living in the surrounding communities straddling the Dublin City and Fingal County Council regions of North Dublin.

With this is mind DCU has created ANAM – an annual flagship event within a broader programme of activities that will bring the North Dublin Cultural Quarter to life.

DCU opened its doors for the second ANAM festival in April 2019. Billed as a ‘Celebration of Arts, Ideas and Creativity in North Dublin,’ the event programme was curated and produced by Philip King’s South Wind Blows team, creators of the popular Other Voices television show and festival.

Supported by Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, IMRO and Neogen, ANAM 2019 boasted an impressive line-up of leading artists and musicians performing alongside DCU staff, students and people from surrounding communities. It included concerts, readings, films, masterclasses and discussions, with events taking place across DCU’s Glasnevin, Drumcondra and All Hallows campuses. Highlights from the two-day event in 2019 included

  • The Heart of the Rowl which took place in the atmospheric All Hallows Chapel. Guests were treated to an extraordinary roster of musical talent and the line-up included David Keenan, Landless, Cormac Begley and Libby McCrohan, Gay McKeon and Amy Campbell, Anna-Mieke, Dermot and Danny Diamond, Francis Ward and DCU Trad Society;
  • Other Voices presents ANAM which was held in the Venue, located the U and those that attended got to witness unforgettable performances by Irish talent such as Mango X MathMan, Delorentos, Tebi Rex, Natalya O’Flaherty and KTG;
  • Readings featuring Melatu Uche Okorie and participants from the Fighting Words programme and a literary event curated by Darren McCann, Marina Carr;
  • As part of DCU’s University of Sanctuary Mellie storytelling initiative, Visual Voices, a photographic exhibition accompanied by a series of documentary narratives. The exhibition is the result of a 12-week collaboration between refugees and asylum seekers, volunteer staff and DCU students with artist Vukašin Nedeljković;
  • A number of thought-provoking panel discussions, two of which explored important themes such as the relationship between music and film and the facilitation of hate speech by social media platforms;
  • A number of Jazz elements, including a performance by renowned percussionist Ramesh Shotham who took to the stage with Ronan Guilfoyle and students from DCU’s BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance.

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