The 8×8 festival makes it mark on DCU

STAND want to bring ‘Identity and Discrimination’ to the forefront of DCU with their annual 8×8 Festival.

The festival, ran by the non-profit initiative “STAND”, aims to educate and engage students on different global justice issues through creative exhibitions and events across college campuses.

STAND has supported humanitarian issues such as genocide prevention since it’s foundation in 2003.

Film and photography are the main tools STAND uses to translate and promote their message during this festival.

This year they were aiming to promote issues in particular surrounding refugee rights, women’s rights and LGBT rights under the theme of Identity and Discrimination.

“We’re focusing on the theme of Identity & Discrimination as we think it’s important that awareness is raised about the prejudice and discrimination faced by individuals and communities around the world because of how they self-identify or because of the identity placed on them by others.”, said Joanne Mulligan, project manager for 8×8 at STAND.

DCU’s STAND society helped to facilitate the festival in DCU. The soceity ran all of the on campus events and helped to promote the festival online and on campus.

The festival took place last week with different events on every night including screenings of films on campus associated with the theme.

On Tuesday STAND collaborated with DCU Amnesty International to screen the film “Through our Eyes” and hosted a guest speaker from MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland.

On Wednesday, “Free Cece” was shown in collaboration with DCU’s LGBT society.

A photo exhibition outside the DCU Canteen stood impressively all week drawing interest and attention to passers-by. The photography captured the diversity of the theme perfectly while also displaying poignantly displaying the faces of targets of discrimination.

The 8×8 festival visits several other campuses across Ireland.

It is focused on campuses because, “it’s important for students to stand together in solidarity of those who face discrimination on their campus. “, Mulligan said.

The goal being to spark an interest in students to “fight against this prejudice and bring about more inclusion and equality within society.”

Róisín Phelan

Image Credit: Alison Clair