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Féile an Phobail

Féile an Phobail

Féile an Phobail was created in 1988 as a direct response to the impact of the conflict in West Belfast. Its ambitious aim was to replace the ritualised rioting that took place every August with a broad programme of community based cultural, artistic and political activities. While controversial in its early years, with its unashamed political outlook, the festival is now a core part of the city’s identity, drawing tens of thousands of visitors from all parts of the north and beyond, and creating important cultural spin-offs in art, theatre, film and radio.

Ironically, the criticism of those suspicious of the early politics of the festival – as coming from a ‘suspect community’ – is replaced by some criticism from within that the festival has shifted from its radical political and community roots.

The core of the documentary is the idea of creating a more positive community outcome in the middle of a very significant conflict.  Féile an Phobail can be best understood as a metaphor for the developing peace process from the late 1980s onwards, and it’s no accident that both began around the same time, both involved very similar personnel, and both took a relatively long time to bed in and gain acceptance.

Whatever about the political origins of Féile, there seems little doubt that the festival succeeded in lessening some of the most negative consequences of conflict, and perhaps uniquely for a working class community, encouraged a positive, confident self image, rooted in internationalism, and open to other political views, the arts and literature.

A Dearcán Media production for BBCNI, with support from the ILBF

Bunaíodh Féile an Phobail in 1988 mar fhreagairt dhíreach ar an choimhlint in Iarthar Bhéal Feirste.

Ba í an aidhm uaillmhianach í na deireadh a chur leis na círéibeacha, a tharla gach Lúnasa, trí chlár leathan de ghníomhaíochtaí cultúrtha, ealaíonta agus polaitiúla a sholáthar. Cé gur conspóideach é ina luathbhlianta, agus a dearcadh mínáireach polaitiúil, anois is cuid lárnach de fhéiniúlacht na cathrach, ag tarraingt na mílte de chuairteoirí as gach cuid den tuaisceart agus níos faide anonn, agus cruthú seachthairbhí sna healaíona, san amharclannaíocht, scannaíocht agus sa raidió.

Go híorónta, athchuirtear cáineadh pholaitíocht na Féile – gur tháinig sé ó phobal faoi amhras – athchuirtear é le cáineadh inmheánach gur bhog an fhéile rófhada ar shiúl óna fréamhacha polaitiúla agus pobail.

Is fusa Féile an Phobail a thuiscint mar mheafar don phróiseas síochána atá i mbéal forbartha ó na mall 1980igí ar aghaidh, agus ní haon chomhtharlú é gur thoisigh an dá rud thart ar an am chéanna, bhí na daoine céanna bainteach leis an dá rud, agus ghlac sé fada go leor an dá rud a neadú isteach agus le faomhadh a fháil.

Cibé rud é faoi bhunpholaitíocht na Féile, níl aon dabht ná gur éirigh leis an fhéile cuid de mhór-iarmhairtí diúltacha na coimhlinte a mhaolú, agus go leithleach do phobal lucht oibre, spreag sé féin-íomhá dheimhneach, mhuiníneach, fréamhaithe san idirnáisiúnachas agus í oscailte do dhearcadh polaitiúil éagsúil, na healaíona agus litearthacht.

Léiriúchán Dearcán Media do BBCNI, le tacaíocht ón ILBF

Coimisiúnaithe ag: CCG/BBCTECommissioned By: ILBF/BBCNI
Le críochnú: Luath 2018Completion Date: Early 2018