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On the occasion of their AGM Create are delighted to announce in partnership with the Irish Traveller Movement


Performing Culture

Åsa Simma, theatre maker and musician in conversation with Catherine Joyce, Chair of the Irish Traveller Movement
Chaired by Ray Yeates
Venue: Sean O Casey Community Centre, St Mary’s Road, East Wall , Docklands Dublin
Date; 17 June 2009
Time: 7 pm

Åsa will reflect on the role of theatre as an agent of change and a means of giving new expression to traditional Saami culture; how theatre can reflect the realities of today’s Saami society and also build bridges of understanding between cultures.

Åsa Simma was educated in Sweden, Denmark and Finland and has worked in Scandinavia, Canada, the U.S., and Russia. In 2000 she was awarded the Håbets prize, and in 2001 became Artistic Director for Saami Theatre. For Åsa Simma, her work as an actress, singer and director serves as a medium to bring Saami culture to the wider world.

When Åsa was growing up in the 1960s it was officially forbidden for Saamis to ‘jojka’ (to sing/chant in the Saami language). But Åsa’s mother taught her secretly. Her skill was discovered by poet and musician Nils Aslak Vlkeapää.

Åsa’s approach to performance is to combine the traditions of her culture with her theatre training and modern media. The content of her work deals with both the day-to-day and the spiritual. She is particularly concerned with how Saami women, “as important bearers of culture within the Saami world, can reach out and receive essential support from Swedish society as a whole.”

Catherine Joyce is an Irish Traveller and has been a member of the Irish Travellers human rights movement for over 20 years. In 1991 she won Person of the Year award for her contribution to progressing Traveller human, social and cultural rights.

She is manager of the Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group, a local Traveller organisation and for a number of years she was co-ordinator of the Irish Traveller Movement and is currently its Chairperson.
Catherine represents Traveller issues at a local level through her involvement in a range of different groups including the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee, Local Drugs Task Force, Blanchardstown Area Partnership to mention a few. At a national level she represents the Irish Traveller Movement on the National Traveller Monitoring Committee and for a number of years was an active member of the National Traveller Accommodation consultative committee and the Task force on Travellers. She has also represented Irish Travellers at a number of international conferences. She was part of the Irish Government delegation to the World conference on Racism and Inter-culturalism in South Africa and also attended the International Conference on Social Development in Copenhagen, the World conference on youth affairs in Tasmania and Re-imagining Ireland in Richmond Virginia, USA.

Ray Yeates is a former Deputy Artistic Director of the Abbey and has worked extensively as a director in Ireland, England and America. He is currently Director of the axis arts and community resource centre in Ballymun, Dublin.


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