A thought provoking exhibition is to be showcased in Belfast city centre as part of this year’s 4 Corners Festival.
Opening on Thursday, February 1, A Culture Of Hope, will run until February 10 at ArtCetera Studio in Rosemary Street.
The exhibition, by the Westcourt Centre in collaboration with Westcourt Camera Club and a number of local community groups, will explore the stories of people who have come to make Belfast their home and it will reflect their hopes, their joys and their challenges through the medium of photography.
Launching on Thursday, February 1 from 7.30pm to coincide with Late Night Art, the launch will welcome Iranian musicians Shiva (a professional guitarist, singer, music teacher and co-founder of Guitar Club for people seeking sanctuary) and Omid (a professional guitarist and Persian Setar player) as well as allowing attendees to hear from members of the 4 Corners committee and the Westcourt Centre.
Speaking of the exhibition Director of Westcourt Centre, Cormac McArt said: “A Culture of Hope is a photographic exhibition capturing stories and experiences of individuals from across the many diverse communities within Belfast.
“The exhibition was produced by the Westcourt Centre and Westcourt Camera Club in collaboration with a number of local groups and services supporting minority groups and people who have arrived in Belfast from other countries.
“People can expect to see images and stories reflecting the journeys of many cultures and communities now resident in our city.
“The exhibition will share narratives of trauma, suffering, resiliency, connection, solidarity and ultimately hope for the future.
“We hope that people will develop an understanding of some of the reasons for displacement in order to help challenge negative stereotypes and promote tolerance in our society. We want people to see the humanity in diversity and the commonality across communities.”
4 Corners Festival
Now in its 12th year, the 4 Corners Festival was conceived as a way to inspire people from across the city to transform it for the peace and wellbeing of all.
The festival features a range of music, discussion, sport and faith-inspired events and will run from February 1 to 11 in venues in all four corners of the city.
4 Corners Festival committee member Ed Petersen said the exhibition will be a moving experience for attendees.
He added: “The imagery in this exhibition is not only thought provoking but moving, it allows us to experience the stories of people who have made Belfast their home through the lens of a camera.”
This year’s theme OUR STORIES…Towards A Culture Of Hope is about showcasing our city and our people’s stories reflecting the essence of belonging and unity within the city’s diverse community.
The upcoming festival’s suite of events is designed to entice people out of their own ‘corners’ of the city and into new places where they will encounter new perspectives, new ideas and hopefully meet new friends.
“There is a correlation between the stories we tell and the culture we live in. Stories can highlight common ground, increase understanding and create connections. They hold the power to have a positive impact on our community and promote hope for the future” said Megan Boyd, 4 Corners Festival Administrator.
The 4 Corners Festival is supported by The Executive Office’s Central Good Relations Fund, The Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund and Belfast City Council Good Relations Fund.
All festival events are free of charge, with most open to the public, although advance booking of tickets is mandatory. Select events will be streamed online on the official 4 Corners Festival YouTube and Facebook accounts.