And that’s a wrap!
The week zoomed by on another Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival with over 40 events that made this our biggest, loudest and most exciting programme to date.
The festival as a whole brought to prominence a wide spectrum of human rights issues whilst providing food for thought and discussion. Events were delivered through an extensive range of mediums. Film, comedy, spoken word, music, panel talks, debate and exhibitions were all platforms that provided an opportunity for conversation and debate around the multi-faceted world of equality and human rights.
A clear highlight was the Refugee Welcome Party on our closing day. A packed crowd turned out, stood up and made it known that refugees and asylum seekers can be a part of Belfast, that we will bring them into our communities with open arms and in doing so, send a message that as ever a tiny backward-thinking minority does not speak for a tolerant majority in Northern Ireland.
If lots of music, happy faces (young and old), laughter and buckets of entertainment are indications of success then this was probably one of the most successful and rewarding events that we have held over the four year history of the festival. It will certainly take some topping next year.
The Refugee Welcome Party was a cacophony of colour, community and cheerfulness, a roaring embrace to those refugees and asylum seekers who have come to Northern Ireland and a positive signal to those who have just arrived and those who will come in the future.
The NIHRF set about the task of bringing human rights to new and broader audiences. This action-packed week has shown that there is an appetite and an enthusiasm for the celebration and protection of human rights, something which we look forward to building on and progressing in coming years.
Over the coming weeks we hope to pull together some of the festival highlights in a series of reviews, posts and podcasts so keep an eye out for further updates on the website and social media. If you attended the festival and have any event comments or photographs that you would like to share then please forward them to us through the NIHRF website or social media.
Roll on NIHRF 2016!