Autonomy in a Time of Change: Youth and our Future

On Saturday December 9th Cllr. Frankie Daly, Deputising for the Mayor, launched the first phase of The Autonomy Project at Music Music Generation Creative Centre, 30 Cecil Street, Limerick.

The Autonomy Project is a new initiative, funded by an Arts Council Invitation to Collaboration Award. It focuses on a global resurgence in art and Youth activism, providing a platform to explore how we can express individual autonomy in our society.

Lisa McLoughlin, The Autonomy Project, said “Focusing on a global resurgence in art and youth activism, The Autonomy Project will bring together the work of internationally recognised artists, Limerick based youth groups and academics to explore the theme of autonomy across a wide spectrum of voices or perspectives. At its centre, Phase One of this project proposes to ask the young artists of Limerick: what do you want to change and how?”

The United Nations Convention on human rights enshrines the right of young people to express their views in matters effecting them and have their opinions given due weight commensurate with age and maturity. This project proposes to provide a platform to the young people of Limerick to explore, through art, how they can express themselves across a range of issues such as identity, gender orientation, social justice and voice.

Culture and Arts Officer, Sheila Deegan said, – The Arts Council strategy for public engagement in the arts includes a focus on young people and they state ‘We will make provision for children and young people a key focus of our relationship with local government’ Alongside this strategic objective, this week An Taoiseach launched Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person. Limerick is leading the way with the Autonomy Project in delivering these strategic objectives and with the Autonomy Project we recognise that young people are the curators of their own lived experience, navigating the daily realities of life in a way which is both unique and familiar to them.

Phase One will be delivered in partnership with organisations such as Limerick Youth Theatre, Dance Limerick, Music Generation and GOSHH with a performance at Limerick Fringe in April 2018. An international symposium with contributors on art and autonomy will also take place in April at the University of Limerick, led by Dr Niamh Nic Ghabhann.

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