Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture - Aistriú Commission

Deadline: 30 June 2019 17:00



Aistriú is a centrally important project of the Galway 2020 programme, and the initiative of a project team based at NUI Galway and led by Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil and Dr John Caulfield. A selection of 20 th century Irish language literary texts has been chosen, which document aspects of migration in an Irish and European context. The texts are multi-genre, date from the 20 th century to present day, and include poetry, short stories, and passages from novels and autobiographies.The texts exhibit a range of perspectives from Ó Cadhain’s excited young women eagerly awaiting passage to America, to an excerpt from Peig Sayers’ autobiography Peig: A Scéal Féin. Contemporary writing in the form of Alan Titley’s Gluaiseacht charts the exploitative relationship between the transporters and transported, while Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s series of poems ‘Na Murúcha a Thriomaigh’ explores the theme of displacement and the challenges faced by marginalised individuals and groups who feel like fish out of water. There are texts by eleven writers in total, each of which attests to the potency and prescience of Irish language writing on this 21 st theme of migration and those who migrate. The texts have been translated into English and we can expect translations in Europe’s most widely spoken languages, as well as minority and regional languages across the continent and beyond,through the EFACIS network ( Wider translation of the works into European languages aims to increase audiences for these texts, celebrating Irish language literature on an international stage. The texts can be viewed at

1. Galway 2020, in association with the Aistriú project team at NUI Galway and Ealaín na Gaeltachta, is inviting expressions of interest from an artist or artists to
create work(s) in response to all or a selection of texts within the Aistriú project.
2. The responses will form part of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture programme in 2020.
3. This invitation is open to artists of all disciplines including: architecture, circus,street art and spectacle, dance, film, literature (all languages), music, opera, theatre, traditional arts and visual arts. Multidisciplinary expressions and those in mixed/digital media are welcome.
4. The artistic responses will be audience and public focused and interested artists are asked to consider mediation and public engagement with the work either during the process of making or post completion.
5. The overall budget for the commission is €50,000 – this may be awarded as one artist/practice or to a number of artists/practices depending on the number and quality of expressions of interest received.

Artists’ Eligibility

  • Artists expressing interest in Aistriú will be required to demonstrate a track record of commitment to the Irish language in/through their previous work.
  •  International applications are welcome.
  • Artists may make a joint application in partnership with others.     


The total budget for commission(s) is €50,000 including all direct and indirect costs of design, making and installation.

Support for Applicants

On Wednesday 1 May, interested artists are invited to attend a half-day workshop on the NUI Galway campus with members of the Aistriú project team, who are renowned academics working in the fields of Irish language, Irish literature and performing arts, and Irish Studies. During this workshop, attendees will discover more about the aims of the Aistriú project, and about the chosen texts, including the authors’ backgrounds, the
historical contexts in which they were set/written, and the language style in which they were written. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about the commission at this session.
The workshop will take place from 10am-1pm on Wednesday, 1 May in Room 104, Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway South Campus. Nearby pay-and-display parking at the Quadrangle or on University Road.

For further info and submission details please see attached pdfPDF iconaistriu-commission-english_3.pdf