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Dundalk and Armagh Youth team up for ‘Selfie’ Exhibition

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Young people from Dundalk, Mullaghbawn, Creggan and Aughnagurgan communities teamed up to create a fascinating ‘Sefie’ Exhibition which was held in the spectacular setting of Creggan Walled Garden in Creggan, Co Armagh.

The unique exhibition was part of a challenging Cultural Diversity programme which the young participants have been busy with over the past few months and involved training, development of a community project and a central arts project. The central arts element of this programme was the “Selfie” project where young people used selfie phone pictures to create a large A2 size portrait of themselves through collage. Through discussion with expert facilitators the young people analysed these images to discover the impression we give out to others in our community and to match that to the person’s real traits and values.

Funded by the International Fund for Ireland under the Peace Impact Programme, the Youth Diversity Project is a cross-border youth project developed by Dundalk Youth Centre in partnership with the Ti Chulainn Centre in South Armagh. The project aims to bring young people from 11-18 together to develop their skills knowledge and attitudes in the areas of Cultural Diversity and Leadership.

To date the Project has engaged over 60 young people from four communities on both sides of the border. Young people from Dundalk, Mullaghbawn, Creggan and Aughnagurgan meet up on joint projects to share their experiences of growing up in the border region and to develop a greater awareness of each other’s culture. Through this innovative and creative programme which is co-designed with young people, the project’s activities are both engaging and developmental.

Speaking at the launch Hilary Singleton, International Fund for Ireland Board Member, said:
“The project aims to increase young people’s involvement in their local community and to encourage them to explore the differences and similarities of living in different states but only 12 miles apart. Through learning leadership skills, building relationships and gaining greater levels of cultural awareness, I have no doubt this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the young people themselves and for their wider communities. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this unique exhibition, which is a very powerful medium of storytelling.”

Mairead Hearty, Diversity Youth Coordinator said:
“This project’s cross border dimension proposes real and meaningful engagement between communities that traditionally have not engaged directly. We are delighted with the huge response from young people from both sides of the border. They were centrally involved in the design of the overall programme and have embraced it with great enthusiasm. The project demonstrates the pivotal role the International Fund for Ireland plays in enabling and facilitating a connection to a group in Northern Ireland through the PIP projects, to the benefit of both communities. On behalf of both communities I would like to thank the International Fund for Ireland most sincerely for their funding support, without which, we could not have undertaken this project.”