By the standards of much of the Western world, abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland are notoriously harsh, with a constitutional ban effective since the passing of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution in 1987. In the years preceding this, fears of a judicial ruling similar to Roe v. Wade in the United States spurred on a fierce ‘pro-life’ campaign, with campaigners lobbying politicians for a referendum to decree that the illegality of abortion be permanently embedded in the constitution. The referendum was hugely divisive, described by some as ‘the second partitioning of Ireland’, but ultimately passed with 67% of the vote.
Returning from a six-year hiatus, Gorillaz’s new album Humanz is a direct emotional response to the political turmoil that is 2017. Written during 2016, before Trump’s election win, the long list of collaborators were informed to conceptualise Humanz as a party album for a dystopian world.
Dir. Andy Arnold, Tron Theatre, 10th – 13th May
From the second Ramesh Meyyappan walked onstage, his presence made the space come alive. I was transported into the obsessively monotonous life of Joe Kilter, who saw his world turned upside down after receiving a termination letter.
I’ve heard so many variations of this sentence that it surprises me when someone says they like learning languages. Nevertheless, no matter how often people tell me they are the worst, I don’t buy it. Maybe you won’t become a translator of medieval literature, but you can learn a language well enough to enjoy a wee summer holiday, or even a year abroad.
The Central European University is likely to close in the light of the new bill passed by the Hungarian government. Apart from being one of the most popular topics in Hungarian politics for the last couple of weeks, it also reflects the international political current. Questionable changes in education – closing institutions, removing subjects, quitting support projects – are becoming more and more frequent both in Europe, and the rest of the world.
Oran Mor, 05/05
A trip to the Oran Mor turned out to be a venture into the mind of a visionary musician and songwriter. The imagination of Jon Gomm is a place of heightened emotion – ‘Everything’ prompted each and every single member of the audience to fall into reverential silence, mesmerised by the man on the stage baring his soul with such power and authenticity, while his eulogising of the love shared by ‘hideous sea creatures’ (the inspiration for ‘Deep Sea Fishes’) and ranting over current politics evoked laughter and cheering.
Dir. Phoebe Elliott, The Old Hairdressers, 16th–17th May
Imagine that, for some inexplicable reason, you’re only allowed to speak 140 words a day. All the thousands of words you use to express yourself every day: gone. Every word you speak, every emotion you feel – whether at your workplace, at uni, with family and friends, or when performing such mundanely simple tasks as ordering a coffee – has to be condensed, pored over, planned out in advance.