Powerful Women from the Past and Present
Brigit 2022: Dublin City Celebrating Women
Drawing inspiration from the Celtic goddess Brigit, associated with creativity and wisdom, and the traditional Gaelic festival of Imbolc, this exciting new programme of events is a city-wide opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Irish women through the ages, highlight their stories, promote their immense contribution to our society and welcome the beginning of Spring. Its inaugural programme spans inspiring films, compelling tours, rousing debates, insightful interviews and a stunning performance of songs and stories with some of Ireland’s most mesmerising performers in a SPRING RISE Brigit 2022 concert featuring Imelda May, FELISPEAKS, Sibéal Ní Chasaide and Tolü Makay in the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin 2.
The full programme of events is available to view here: https://dublin.ie/whats-on/brigit
To mark the inaugural Brigit 2022: Dublin City Celebrating Women event, Smashing Times are delighted to present three works highlighting powerful women from the past and present.
Tell Them Our Names
Tell Them Our Names is an imagined re-creation of moments from the lives of five powerful women during WWII recalling moments of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against Fascism and totalitarianism and refused to accept oppression. Women’s stories that have inspired the film are Marta Hillers (1911-2001) from Germany; Mary Elmes (1908-2002) from Ireland; Maria Eugenia Jasińska (1906-43) from Poland; Neus Català Pallejà (915-2) from Spain; and Dolores Ibárruri, or La Pasionaria (1895-1989), from Spain. The cast are Fiona Bawn Thompson, Raymond Keane, Margaret Toomey, Ella Moynihan Brady, Mary Moynihan and Romana Testasecca. Tell Them Our Names was selected for the London Eye International Film Festival and Kerry Film Festival and screened as part of Café Europa at Leif Theatre, Scotland.
Mary Elmes(1908-2002)from Cork, was the first Irish person honoured as ‘Righteous Among Nations’ for her work saving Jewish children from the Nazi gas chambers during World War II. During the Spanish Civil War, Mary travelled to Spain to provide refugee relief work. In 1939 she fled to France. When weekly deportations of Jewish people began taking adults and children from Rivesalte, France to concentration camps in Germany and Poland including Auschwitz where death from the gas chambers or from starvation awaited them, Mary Elmes and the Quakers started a campaign to save as many children as possible, despite the risk to their own lives. Elmes even hid children in her car and drove them high into the Pyrenees. It will probably never be known how many children and adults she saved.
This interview with Mary Moynihan highlights Mary Elmes’ extraordinary life and work.
Don’t See Any Lines
Don’t See Any Lines is a song by Hilary Bow.
- Vocals: Hilary Bow & Liam Ó’Maonlaí
- Piano: Derek Cremin
- Guitar: Drazen Derak
- Bass: Jacob Dunlop
- Drums: Faolán Collins & Dave McCune
- French horn: Cormac O hAodáin
- Irish harp: Liam Ó’Maonlaí
- Written & produced by Hilary Bow
Hilary says, “People across the world flee their homes in terror, their lives threatened, facing hopelessness and nothing to count on but the kindness of others. They traverse physical and mental hardships that for many of us would be inconceivable. To highlight this tragedy, I released Don’t See Any Lines by Hilary Bow on World Refugee Day in 2019. It was supported by U.N.E.S.C.O, Irish Refugee Council and the Migrant Rights Centre to raise awareness of M.A.S.I. – Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland, a grassroots organisation that grew out of the 2014 Direct Provision protests.
The song emphasises a plight: Some of these people, now finding themselves falling under the label of ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ arrive to host countries to safety. Prior to Direct Provision, these people had a chance of gathering their strength again, living after surviving, building a new life.
Since 2000, people have been held in Direct Provision on arrival to Ireland and refugee camps across Europe – their wings clipped. Entire childhoods are spent in Direct Provision. Mothers cannot cook for their own children. Fathers cannot provide for their own families. These people have been driven to protest time and time again. Their voice must be heard – this is what Don’t See Any Lines aims to achieve. I hope Don’t See Any Lines can help to increase awareness of the de-humanising treatment of asylum seekers across Europe.”
Courageous Women Castle to Castle
A Smashing Times Collection of Women’s Stories – Cultural Heritage Resources available to the Public
As part of its cultural heritage and historical memory work, Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality in partnership with Dublin Castle and Rathfarnham Castle are committed to remembering stories of courageous women in history and reflecting on how those stories impact on our lives today, with a focus on courage and vulnerability in a time of crisis.
Smashing Times have created a collection of key resources using the arts and new digital technologies that are available online and reflect on stories of women in Irish history from 1916 to 1923, stories of women from WWII and stories of women in Ireland and Europe today. The resources are in the form of online digital art exhibitions, e-books, films, theatre-based workshop models, blogs and newsletters and are available to the public here.
We have created two short films on the theme of Courageous Women Castle to Castle featuring chats, storytelling and performances with artists, historians and guest speakers, highlighting the incredible stories of women in history and their impact on our lives today. We have chosen the unique settings of two historic buildings in Dublin to remember and reflect on stories of courageous women from the past and today. The films feature scenes from Constance and Her Friends by Mary Moynihan, inspired by women’s stories from 1916 to 1923, recently performed in Dublin Castle and The Woman is Present: Women’s Stories of WWII by Mary Moynihan, Fiona Thompson, Paul Kennedy and Féilim James, performed in Rathfarnham Castle.
Audiences can access the films on this webpage. To view the full range of digital resources contained in the Smashing Times Collection of Women’s Stories please see below.
Courageous Women Castle to Castle
A Smashing Times Collection of Women’s Stories 1916 – 1923
In Partnership with Dublin Castle, Rathfarnham Castle and the Office of Public Works
Courageous Women Castle to Castle
A Smashing Times Collection of Women’s Stories
In Partnership with Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin Castle and the Office of Public Works
Women’s Voices Then and Now Digital Art Exhibition
A Creative Celebration of Women’s Stories from Ireland 1916 to 1923
Artist Mary Moynihan and researcher Niamh Clowry with the support of Dr Sinead McCoole have created a unique digital art exhibition celebrating the stories of powerful women in Ireland from the 1916 to 1923 period in Irish history. The venue is cyberspace and the exhibition is titled Women’s Voices Then and Now – A Creative Celebration of Women’s Stories from 1916 to 1923, highlighting stories of change experienced by pioneering women in Ireland from the past and today. The exhibition was launched on 8 March 2019 by Senator Alice Mary Higgins. Visit here
EU 1979: A People’s Parliament Digital Art Exhibition
Exploring Democracy, Human Rights and Women’s Political Participation
EU 1979: A People’s Parliament is a unique digital Art Exhibition featuring a curated collection of visual images, poetry and a digital map with posters, articles and research inspired by the names and stories of 67 powerful women MEP’s elected to the 1979 first European parliamentary elections. A key moment was the election of French woman Simone Veil (1927-2017) as the European parliament’s first president on 17 July 1979. She was a French laywer, politican, feminist and holocaust survivor and a woman who fully embodied the deep values and profound historical reasons for the European integration project. In her eyes, the construction of Europe was the only way to avoid repeating the horrors of the past. She had been firmly convinced of this since her return from the camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen in May 1945. She survived through courage and determination and began her career as a magistrate in 1974 going on to become the most celebrated and popular female politician in France serving as Minister for Health and then as first President of the European parliament. The last generation of survivors and witnesses from the Holocaust are disappearing and it is essential that we continue to find ways to ensure that learning and education on the Holocaust continues. A key aim is to show, through stories such as that of Simone Veil, how the historical roots to the EU lie in the Second World War as Europeans are determined to prevent the atrocities, killing and destruction from ever happening again. The project is co-funded by the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union.
The Digital Art exhibition is available https://exhibition.smashingtimes.ie/eu-1979-a-peoples-parliament/
Women War and Peace – Women’s Stories of WWII E-book
Women War and Peace is a book available online with a foreword by Marian Harkin, MEP, Ireland. The book contains articles, research and 23 women’s stories from WWII and the Holocaust – highlighting stories of women from Ireland, Spain, Germany and Poland who promoted liberty, spoke out against totalitarianism and advocated for peace. Click here
Comet Lines – Freedom Trails of Europe. Stories of Resistance from WWII E-book
Comet Lines: Freedom Trails of Europe is a book in digital format, containing four research articles and twenty-five stories, six from Ireland, six from Belgium, five from Spain, five from Poland and three from England related to escape lines and freedom trails across Europe during WWII. ‘Escape lines’ were secret World War II networks set up to assist Allied soldiers and citizens leave Nazi occupied territory during WWII. Today the Escape Lines are remembered as ‘Freedom Trails’ where citizens from across Europe and beyond, including the children and relatives of those who worked on the escape lines and those who were saved, come together to walk parts of the routes of the original lines especially over the Pyrenees. The aim is to remember and honor those who risked and in many cases lost their lives to help others be free. The stories reflect experiences of different nationalities and countries across Europe before and during WWII, highlighting stories of women and men who helped all Europeans and who stood up against Nazism, Fascism and totalitarianism. Click here
Women in an Equal Europe – Women’s Stories today E-book
Women in an Equal Europe is a book available online containing interviews with twenty-one women today -– five from Ireland, five from Spain, five from Croatia and five from Serbia – to promote a remembrance of women’s equality and experiences of life in Europe today ensuring women’s voices and stories are equally heard and acknowledge. Click here
Artist Mary Moynihan has created three films inspired by stories of women in history
Creative art film Courageous Women directed by Mary Moynihan and based on an imagined re-creation of moments from the lives of women in Irish history from 1916 to 1923, inspired by the stories of Constance Markievicz (1868-1927); Helena Molony (1884-1967); Margaret Skinnider (1893-1971); Hanna Sheehy Skeffington (1877-1946) and Eva Gore Booth (1870-1926). The cast are Megan O’Malley, Róisín McAtamney and Ann Sheehy. Click below to view trailer.
Creative art film Tell Them Our Names directed by Mary Moynihan and selected for the London Eye International Film Festival and Kerry Film Festival and screened as part of Café Europa at Leif Theatre, Scotland. Tell Them Our Names is an imagined re-creation of moments from the lives of five powerful women during WWII recalling moments of bravery, sacrifice and love amidst the horror of war, as women stood up against Fascism and totalitarianism and refused to accept oppression. Women’s stories that have inspired the film are Marta Hillers (1911-2001) from Germany; Mary Elmes (1908-2002) from Ireland; Maria Eugenia Jasińska (1906-43) from Poland; Neus Català Pallejà (915-2) from Spain; and Dolores Ibárruri, or La Pasionaria (1895-1989), from Spain. The cast are Fiona Bawn Thompson, Raymond Keane, Margaret Toomey, Ella Moynihan Brady, Mary Moynihan and Romana Testasecca. Click below to view.
Film documentary Women in an Equal Europe, directed by Mary Moynihan and edited by Mark Quinn, High Wire productions, exploring themes of women, feminism and Europe. The documentary features interviews with women and men from Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria and the Netherlands exploring women’s lived experiences of life in Europe and the intersection between the arts, feminism and equality. Interviewees from Ireland are Olwen Fouéré, Actor, Director and Creative Artist; Dil Wickremasinghe, Journalist, Broadcaster and Co-founder of Insight Matters; Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland; Sinéad Burke aka Minnie Mélange, Writer and Academic; Vanessa Ogida, Broadcast Journalist, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Trainer and Entrepreneur; Pom Boyd, Actor and Writer; Róisín McAtamney, Actor and Theatre Director; Dr Shirley Graham, Visiting Associate Professor of Practice in International Affairs at George Washington University; Constance Short, Visual Artist, Arts Organiser and Cultural Conduit; Raymond Keane, Actor, Clown and Theatre Director; Peter Sheridan, Playwright and Theatre Director; Breda Gahan, Health and HIV Global Advisor, Concern Worldwide, Ireland; and Mary Moynihan, Writer, Theatre and Film Maker, Artistic Director Interviewees from Spain are Fernando Benavente, European Project Manager; Javier Gonzalez, actor and film maker and Africa Dias, lecturer, drama facilitator and actor. Interviewees from a range of European countries include Dijana Milošević, Artistic Director, DAH Theatre, Serbia; Mirjana Renduli, Actor, Writer and Facilitator, Croatia; Ave Newman, Teacher, actor and drama facilitator, Germany; Raya Stanachkova, Media Specialist and European Project Co coordinator, Bulgaria; and Gerda Nijssen, Feminist Project Coordinator, Netherlands
Please note only Tell Them Our Names is available online. For Courageous Women and Women in an Equal Europe please contact Smashing Times directly.
THEATRE WORKSHOP MODELS
Remembrance Through Theatre Workshop
Women War and Peace Remembrance Through Theatre Workshop model is a three-hour workshop using theatre games and exercises to explore the role of women in Europe from World War II to the present and the power of the EU in promoting peace and gender equality today. The workshop is created by Mary Moynihan and Freda Manweiler of Smashing Times Theatre Company with support from the Women War and Peace project partners.
Exploration in the workshop is through active participation in drama and theatre games, exercises, image work and improvisations. The workshop is suitable for all, both adults and young people, and participants do not need to have any previous experience of drama. The aim is for adults and younger people to develop a stronger awareness of the issues through a quality arts experience.
The workshop model is printed in full in the Women War and Peace book in order to share skills and knowledge and to make the drama model available to a wider public. Click here
Drama for Change Curriculum to promote anti-racism, equality and diversity
Drama for Change is a Theatre Curriculum and Toolbox of Resources, using the arts to promote anti-racism, equality and diversity. The Drama for Change curriculum contains a selection of theatre games and exercises which can be used by adult educators to promote equality, inclusion and anti-racism work, and a series of hand-outs including guidelines for drama facilitators, key terms and a bibliography. A Toolbox of Resources accompanies the training and consists of five on-line Research documents with information on cultural diversity and five Video Demonstrations on how to conduct a selection of the game and exercises, showing a step-by-step approach demonstrated by a theatre facilitator working with a group of participants. To access the Drama for Change curriculum please click here.
BLOGS AND NEWSLETTERS
Blogs on Stories of Women in history. View our blogs page here.
SMASHING TIMES NEWSLETTERS
Smashing Times Arts Connect Newsletters with articles and creative writing on the arts, creativity and human rights. Click here to view.
Who We Are
Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality
Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality is dedicated to the promotion, protection, study and practice of the arts, human rights, climate justice and gender equality. The centre operates as a world class arts space and digital hub for artists, communities and the general public across Ireland and internationally, providing a resource service and networking agency, and an annual inter-disciplinary arts programme. Visit SmashingTimes.ie
The original castle at Rathfarnham dates back to the Elizabethan period and was built for Archbishop Adam Loftus, an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman who later became Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In the late eighteenth century, the house was remodelled on a splendid scale employing some of the finest architects of the day including Sir William Chambers and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. The collection includes family portraits by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808). Rathfarnham Castle is managed and operated by the Office of Public Works. Visit the castle to enjoy a range of wonderful exhibitions, lectures and cultural events and to learn about the castle’s history. Booking is advisable and for information on exhibitions and how to book, go to RathfarnhamCastle.ie
Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland. In 1922, following Ireland’s independence, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government. It is now a major government complex and a key tourist attraction.
A unique exhibition currently on display at the Coach House, Dublin Castle Gardens is 100 Years of Women in Politics and Public Life. This Pop-Up Museum explores 100 years of women’s participation in politics and public life in Ireland. The exhibition shines a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame. It is told with films, interviews, interactives, objects and information panels, and looks at the individual lives of women elected to the Oireachtas over the period 1918 to 2018. Closed: Monday and Tuesday. The exhibition is an initiative of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme and is created by Dr Sinéad McCoole. Visit DublinCastle.ie
SMASHING TIMES SUPPORTERS
Smashing Times projects are supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Europe for Citizens, Erasmus+, ‘ . . . the lives we live’ Grangegorman Public Art; Dublin City Council; and the Creative Ireland Dublin City Programme 2018 and Dublin City Public Library Archive.
Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality
– incorporating Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company and Smashing Times Youth Arts Ensemble
Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 7, Ireland.
Tel: + 353 (0) 1 865 6613 Tel: + 353 (0) 87 221 4245