Juliana Adelman The Dublin Natural History Museum is open again! I will be visiting it often this month. They are also hosting an interesting series of lectures and lunchtime talks including one on the reintroduction of the Golden Eagle to Ireland on the 20th of May. The National Library of Ireland is touring some of its collection of photographs: this month sees an exhibition of Colman Doyle’s photographs of Ireland in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. I am really enjoying dipping into a kind of e-zine/journal/blog /forum called On the Human, sponsored by the National Humanities Center. It is academic, but a bit more immediate and concise than most academic journals and there is the opportunity for debate. A very cool initiative.
Lisa Marie Griffith The fantastic ‘Witness to War’ exhibition at the National Photographic Archive finishes this month. It is well worth a look. I was particularly struck by the images of a devastated Cork in 1920 after Auxiliary fighting in the capital. The ‘Telling Images of China’ exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library finishes on 3 May and will be replaced with ‘A Sikh Face in Ireland’ a photographic exhibition which explores Sikh culture in Ireland.
Kevin O’Sullivan Ok, I’ll admit it, I’ve only read a handful of the Bórd Gáis Top 50 Irish books of the decade. (It would be impolite to tell you which ones, but Keane is one of them, and a great read at that.) Should I be ashamed, or should I be glad that I find any time at all to read these texts before they disappear into the digital ether? In April, I read Robert Darnton’s The Case for Books, whose first half in particular is a brilliant commentary on the present and future state of the written word. And I’m halfway through the latest by the pioneer of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai, the appropriately-titled The Challenge for Africa. If you’re in the market for an explanation of where Africa’s been, where it is at present, and where it’s going, from one of the most authoritative and honest voices on the continent, buy this book.
Christina Morin This month is a particularly busy one for me, but I’m hoping to catch some of The 11th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast. There seems to be something to suit every taste, and, as such a big part of the cultural year in Belfast, it’s well worth a visit before it finishes on the 10th of May. Beginning towards the end of the month, in Dublin, The Long Room at Trinity College Dublin will host an exhibition entitled ‘India: The Famed Orient and European Perspectives’. Designed to take advantage of the library’s holdings on the long relationship between Trinity and South Asia – extending at least as far back as the establishment in 1762 of a chair in oriental languages – the exhibition promises a tantalizing glimpse into the library’s extensive archives. The exhibition runs from 20 May to 3 October 2010. If you arrive too soon for the India exhibition, you’ll still have time to catch the last few days of the ‘Dublin: The College and the City’ exhibition, which runs until 13 May 2010.