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Dublin Arts & Human Rights Festival 2023

Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival
Friday 13 – Sunday 22 October 2023

“In Solidarity: An International Celebration of Arts and Human Rights”

The Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival is an annual, international festival organised by Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality and Front Line Defenders, a Dublin-based international organisation working to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders at risk. It is held in partnership with Amnesty International, Fighting Words, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Trócaire, Poetry Ireland, and Irish PEN. This year’s festival runs from 13 – 22 October, with the theme ‘In Solidarity: An International Celebration of Arts and Human Rights’.


Our Events:

25 years of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders – How far have we come?

About: This year marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. To explain its significance, and to talk about progress and gaps since then, we present a podcast on the situation of human rights defenders, achievements since the declaration, and what we hope to see in the future.

When? October 17 @ 12:00 pm - October 22 @ 5:00 pm IST

Where? Online

Remember the Defenders: A Photo Exhibition

About: This exhibition will showcase 10 human rights defenders from around the world who have done outstanding work protecting human rights. From the lands of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the streets of Jordan, come and learn about the challenges of these outstanding human rights defenders from around the world. 

When? October 18 @ 10:00 am – October 21 @ 5:00 pm IST

Where? EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Open Mic Night

About: Join us for a night of poetry and music related to themes of solidarity, human rights and social justice. We will have special guests featuring curated poetry and music for the night, which will be announced closer to the event and the floor is also open for anyone who would like to sign up to perform. 

When? October 20 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm IST

Where? Crowbar Terrace

‘Memorial Monologues’ - A live outdoor storytelling performance

About: The ‘Memorial Monologues’ is a live outdoor storytelling performance at the Memorial Monument in the Iveagh Gardens, featuring stories based on the lives and work of some of the Human Rights Defenders featured at the monument, performed live by various actors who work with Smashing Times.

When? October 19 - October 22

Where? HRD Memorial Monument in the Iveagh Gardens

The festival aims to promote human rights and justice for all, and the vision of a world where all people are treated equally, with dignity and respect – linking the arts to civil society, active citizenship and politics. The extraordinary work of human rights defenders in Ireland and around the world, past and present, and the role of the arts in promoting human rights will be showcased and highlighted at the festival, aiming to celebrate and unite community connections, artists, human rights organisations and human rights defenders.

The festival will showcase world-class and diverse acts, artists and speakers, including up-and-coming performers. It brings arts and human rights together through interdisciplinary events which include workshops, theatre performances, musical performances, visual arts, exhibitions, film screenings, panel discussions, poetry and literature events, historical memory performances, live art, digital installations, and more.

The festival is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. The artistic curator for the festival is Mary Moynihan, Artistic Director of Smashing Times; and the human rights curator is Laura O’Leary, International Events and Promotions Coordinator at Front Line Defenders. The festival will be a hybrid programme delivered over 10 days and hosts an exciting blend of events happening in-person and online, featuring Irish and international artists and guest speakers. There will be something for everyone interested in the arts for equality, human rights and diversity, reaching audiences locally, nationally, and internationally.

Join us to illuminate stories of courage and inspiration and shine a light on stories of ordinary people who stand up for human rights and impact on the lives of others. We will bear witness to, and remember the past, explore the present and celebrate the future linked to equality and rights for all.

Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival Ambassadors 2023

Jessica Traynor

Poet, essayist, librettist, and poetry editor at Banshee, 2023 Arts Council Writer in Residence in Galway University.





Singer, songwriter, TV presenter, voiceover artist.





Senator Lynn Ruane

Independent Irish politician, published author and writer, podcaster, presenter.