STAND Student Festival is returning to college campuses this week

Jamie Mc Carron 


The annual STAND Student Festival will be returning to 13  campuses this autumn, kicking off at University College Cork on the Monday and reaching DCU from the 25th of October to the 29th.

This year’s theme is Resilience and the festival aims to highlight the creativity and courage of young people in the face of global challenges.

The festival will spend one week on each of the country’s college campuses hosting debates, online workshops, guest speakers and panel discussions.

STAND, which is funded by Irish Aid, has called on students and staff to join it and the Union of Students in Ireland to #RiseUp and take a stand for justice, equality and inclusion.

The touring  #RiseUp exhibition will feature illustrated portraits of 20 young activists and communities from around the world that have taken action in the areas of climate change, gender equality, mental health and social inclusion.

Louisamay Hanarahan, founder of Let’s Help Direct Provision, will be featured in the equality category and spoke on the importance of resilience.

‘“I’m thrilled to be featured alongside so many amazing changemakers in this year’s STAND Student Exhibition. Despite the challenges of the last 18 months, seeing so many young people rising up to build a better and fairer world gives me hope. If you want to create change, remember to listen to your community, follow your instincts & build what you believe in!” she said.

Also featured in the Equality category is Senator Eileen Flynn, the first member of the Traveller Community to hold a seat in the Oireachtas as well as being an activist and a member of BBC’s 100 Women series.

Several female activists and social entrepreneurs from Kenya, Ecuador and Uganda will be featured in the Climate Action section of the exhibiton.

Ifrah Ahmed, a Somali-Irish activist against Female Genital Mutilation, as well as the global #MeToo movement will be among those represented in the Women and Gender Equality category.

STAND’s Brand Ambassador and Festival Co-ordinator is Christine Brungard of IT Carlow.

“The exciting thing about this year’s STAND festival is how relevant the topic is to all of us. Making resilience this year’s theme is helping all of us to celebrate the positive in the world even among all the negative we lived through in the past year,” she said.

The exhibiton was created by artists Tara O’Brien, Nikita Abuya, Béibhínn McCarthy, Viktoria Spokojna and Neave Alouf.

Seven main festivals will be held at Ireland’s universities with 6 “mini festivals” being held at Institutes of Technology at the same time.

More information on the STAND Student Festival can be found at

Jamie Mc Carron

Image Credit: STAND