Have your say: Has Dublin become too expensive for artists to live here?

Musician David Kitt says he was being forced to leave because he can’t afford it anymore

Musician David Kitt is quitting Ireland, claiming it is too expensive to live in the country anymore. Kitt says he has no choice given that the Dublin house in which he lives is being sold as part of a portfolio to a consortium of European investors. “I do think it is sad that so many creative/artistic/bright people are being forced to leave this city and the country in general.” He blamed Fine Gael who he said are “failing this city and its people massively. And Dublin’s heart and soul is being ripped out and sold to the highest bidder.”

The Irish Times would like to hear from readers on the issue. Do you think Dublin and other cities and towns around Ireland have become too expensive for artists, musicians and other creatives to live and work? Is the cultural vibrancy of the city being lost as a result? If you are working in a creative industry, have you had to leave Dublin, or Ireland, to make a living? Or are you, like Kitt, planning to leave? How would you fix the problem? Are there examples of better functioning systems where you live now that could be adopted by Ireland?

You can contribute (max 300 words) using this form. Please include a few lines about yourself – where you are from originally, when you emigrated and why, where you live now and what you do there – and attach a photograph if you have one.

A selection of responses may be published in the Irish Times, or passed to a journalist who may wish to contact you for more information.

The End of the Beginning of Equality for Women in Irish Theatre

On July 9th, Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD launched Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre at the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College, Dublin.

The gender equality policies of 10 theatre companies have been crafted to encompass the individual workings and requirements of the ten organisations and to acknowledge that it is vital that women’s voices are allowed are heard on stage, across the cultural sector and across society as a whole. This is a joint promise to address and rebalance the gender equality deficiencies within Irish theatre and the documents launched today include the following policy commitments;

  1. Gender blind readings for plays
  2. Unconscious bias training for all staff
  3. Achieve equality of gender of board members
  4. 50% of a new play commissions to be allocated to women writers
  5. Gender blind casting
  6. Addition of Dignity at Work clauses to employees charter
  7. Re-examination of the female canon 
  8. Work with third level institution to encourage gender parity in areas that do not reflect equality of gender.
  9. To achieve gender balance in programming within a 5 year period.

This work is the culmination of the process that started with the Waking the Feminists movement in 2015. The 10 organisations involved in this sectoral collaboration are The Abbey Theatre, Cork Midsummer Festival, The Corn Exchange, Druid Theatre, The Everyman, Dublin Theatre Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company, The Gate Theatre, The Lir Academy, Rough Magic Theatre Company. Information on the policies can be found on the individual company websites or at http://www.wakingthefeminists.org/

Join Irish Equity online

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Fighting for Freelances Conference

On the 150th anniversary of the birth of James Connolly SIPTU, the National Union of Journalists, Irish Equity, and the Musicians Union of Ireland invite you to Fighting for Freelances Conference on Tuesday 5th June, Mansion House, Dublin from 10.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. To confirm attendance go to:
www.eventbrite.com •  A light lunch will be served. Register by Friday 1st June, 2018 • For more information Tel: 01 8588217 (Please note places are limited).

Congress Global Solidarity Committee Expresses ‘Abhorrence at Massacre of Palestinian Civilians

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has expressed its abhorrence of the massacre of innocent Palestinian protestors in Gaza today (May 14).

Speaking on behalf of the Congress Global Solidarity Committee, David Joyce said: “Our thoughts are with the dead and injured and their families. Up to 52 people were killed, according to numbers from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, including five children under 18 years of age.

“They were murdered by Israeli forces as they protested the opening of the United States’ embassy in Jerusalem.“In addition almost 2000 people were injured – more than 900 of those with live ammunition. This is a shameless violation of international law and the Israeli authorities show no signs that they intend to rein in such excessive force.

“Today’s shootings are a continuation of killings that have taken place since the Great Return March started on March 30, with more than 100 Palestinians now dead & over 13,000 wounded by Israeli occupation forces,” Mr Joyce said.

He called on the Irish Government to strongly condemn the Israeli actions and lead the way in both the EU and the UN, in calling for an independent investigation and to hold the Israeli Government to account.

“The fact that today’s events occurred with the eyes of the world on Jerusalem shows the contempt that Israel has for the international community and the impunity with which it violates international law.

“The Congress Global Solidarity Committee demands that today’s events must also lead to renewed international pressure on Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and end Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“The suggestion that Ireland should follow the example of the US and move its embassy to Jerusalem should also be treated with the contempt it deserves.

“Today’s events show the need for more action by Ireland in its own right and Congress now calls on all political parties in the Oireachtas to support the urgent passing of Senator Frances Black’s Occupied Territories Bill,” Mr Joyce concluded.

Will Change Ever Really Come?

A total of 82 female film professionals linked arms on the steps of the Palais while Cate Blanchett, this year’s jury president, read out an impassioned statement. The numbers were significant.

In the 71 editions of the Cannes Festival, just 82 women have competed for the Palme d’Or. (Do the maths and you’ll conclude that this year’s total of three is significantly above the pitiful average.)

In contrast, 1,866 men have had their films in competition. Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux, and Salma Hayek stood on the highest step with Blanchett. “Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise,” she said.

“As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress. We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts.”

The protest comes after accusations that Cannes has not reacted forcefully enough to the #metoo scandal. A change is gonna come.

This article first appeared as a tweet from David Clarke for the Irish Times. Photo is by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP.

2018 Irish Equity AGM

NOTICE FOR MEMBERS: The 2018 Irish Equity AGM will take place in Liberty Theatre, Liberty Hall, Dublin on Sunday March 25th doors open at 2.00 p.m. There will be a speaker on Bullying & Harassment in the Arts.

Gonna Let Nobody Turn me Around

Check out this video from the Resistance Choir in support of the national demonstration calling for an end to #housingcrisis.
Join us on #April7th
1pm Parnell Square – #LetOrganise

Actor/Director ‘Speed Dating’ evening

The Equity Executive in conjunction with The Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, held an Actor/Director ‘Speed Dating’ evening on Thursday, 1st February in the Liberty Hall Theatre. What a perfect way to build your network in the acting world • Join Irish Equity!

Podcast: Amplify Women’s Harassment Toolkit

In response to the revelations of harassment in Irish theatre, the #MeToo and #IrishWeinstein hashtags, Amplify Women, an umbrella group that represents, works with or carries out research about women working in the cultural and media industries, has produced a toolkit for dealing with harassment and bullying in the workplace.

Olwen Dawe, Sarah Durcan, Karan O’Loughlin and Sarah Kieran have all been involved in creating the toolkit over the past year and they spoke to Róisín Ingle all about it. LISTEN HERE

Read the Amplify Women’s Harassment Toolkit

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