Our Colours Our Sounds
Our town is Carndonagh.
We lie in the heart of Inishowen, Co. Donegal.
In November 2012, from the 19th to the 30th, we witnessed the beginnings of a project that is deeper than ‘grass-roots’.
‘Our Colours, Our Sounds’ was a unique project that aimed to promote and celebrate cultural diversity, whilst creating a colourful, vibrant town centre.
The project used a ‘whole town’ approach, empowering and encouraging individuals and groups. The project highlighted Carndonagh’s cultural make-up, shared who we are as a town ‘now’ and celebrated our local and diverse cultures and histories.
Audio recordings of local people sharing personal and cultural stories were collected. These were played in participating shops/businesses during the two week event. This part of the project may well become an important social archive and living cultural record of how peoples in rural Donegal are changing and integrating as part of today’s Ireland.
Each shop window in Carndonagh’s town centre, ‘The Diamond’, was a work of art in its own right. Aspects of cultures which make up our community in Carndonagh today were explored, celebrated and displayed through artworks by local children, young people, artists and creative people living in the north Inishowen area.
This is the first event of its type in Ireland. It turned the entire town centre into an exhibition and celebration of culture using art and sound. The project drew attention to the town centre of Carndonagh as a ‘cultural hotspot’, the ‘Diamond’ of Inishowen, while it highlighted our local creative talents, and strong community spirit.
Who we are as a Community today
Cultures and nationalities living in and around Carndonagh today include Irish, Polish, Filipino, Latvian, Lithuanian, Spanish, Chinese, Scottish, American, English, Moldavian, Zimbabwean, Indian, German, Moroccan, Romanian, Nigerian, Dutch, Asian and French and Greek Cypriot.
That’s 21 diverse cultures living together at the heart of Inishowen.
The aims of ‘Our Colours, Our Sounds’ are to use available resources and talent in the north Inishowen area to highlight the cultural diversity, creativity and community spirit of Carndonagh, and develop Carndonagh as a cultural hotspot.
The people of Inishowen are innately creative and need a platform to showcase the many talents and services available within the area.
This project has secured funding from the Donegal County Council as part of the ‘One Donegal’ Cultural Diversity Programme.
We hope this project will encourage the general, business and creative communities to work together, ensuring that the Carndonagh area is active and ready for visitors, near and far, during Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013, when there is huge potential for focus on Inishowen.
It is hoped that each business within the Carndonagh ‘Diamond’ will participate by allowing an artist to create a window display highlighting different cultures and Nationalities, which makes our community who we are today.
These cultural explosions of colour will be made up from shop wares, artists work, props and costumes on loan from the Inishowen Carnival Group, and last but by no means least, art by local children participating in the ‘Colours of the World’ cultural diversity project hosted by ‘Spraoi agus Sport’ Family Centre, Carndonagh.
It is essential in 2013, when Derry~Londonderry hosts the City of Culture, Carndonagh be placed firmly on the map, not only as a gateway town to the most northerly point in Ireland, but also as a town of colour and culture, steeped in community spirit.