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Human Rights Commission puts climate at centre of Culture Night celebrations

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Human Rights Commission puts climate at centre of Culture Night celebrations

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission participated in Culture Night Belfast this year, with a premiere of its short film, ‘It Seems’.

‘It Seems’ focuses on the impact of climate change on human rights, and features Belfast poet, Niamh McNally. The film was developed alongside Amnesty, Sustainable Northern Ireland and Climate Northern Ireland, and encourages viewers to ask themselves how they can positively impact the environment.

NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby, said:

“We were delighted to celebrate this year’s Culture Night event as an opportunity to launch our film, ‘It Seems’. The discussion around climate change is certainly timely, and it is key that we recognise the impact it has on the enjoyment of human rights by everyone. The issue of climate justice is an international one, covered by global initiatives like the Paris Agreement, and it’s important and central to the Sustainable Development Goals. We must think globally and act locally – climate change impacts our own lives and it is important that we play our own role as consumers and citizens. Many thanks to those who partnered with us to make this event a success.”

Poet, Niamh McNally, said:

“I am thrilled to be part of a project that is so crucial to each of our lives. At first, I believed this task to be daunting, because presenting the message clearly through poetry proved challenging. All I can say is that the experience and receiving feedback from those who watched the film has been brilliant and I’m delighted it struck a chord. For some, it made them pause and reflect upon the world around us, and for others it hit a nerve. My aunt remarked ‘if the fields would always be green’ after she watched it. This is what creates change within our societies, a change so vital for all our futures. On a personal level, I am proud that art is at the forefront of this change and poetry is the medium conveying this vital message.”

On Culture Night, the film screening was followed by a panel discussion, hosted by Les Allamby, featuring Professor John Barry, Queen’s University Belfast; Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International; Grainia Long, Commissioner for Resilience at Belfast City Council; Géraldine Noé, Business in the Community; and Niamh McNally.

The film can be viewed on the NIHRC Youtube channel here.

28 Sep 2020

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