With the Lights Out, It’s Less Dangerouswas one of a seven-part series of events as part of LIFT festival entitled Change for a Tenner. Each session brings artists, performers, writers and practitioners together to discuss a different issue relating to the theme of art and social change.
The focus of this session was artists placing themselves in danger for the benefit of their work. Participants included the comedian Ivor Dembina, who spoke about his experiences on the West Bank when researching for a show, and Maya Zbib, who spoke about her experiences setting up a theatre company in Lebanon, evading the censor and attempting to reach out to the community.
The theme was a bit laboured, and perhaps a little self-congratulatory. That said, most of the speakers had had genuinely interesting experiences, and when they were able to speak freely about the work they did and the impact they were able to make the evening was engaging and informative.
Paula McFetridge was a highlight. She spoke about her site specific theatre pieces staged in and around Belfast, challenging and confronting the community with immersive and dialogic political theatre that addresses issues of immediate import.
Simply for providing exposure for work like this, and for encouraging debate, the Change For a Tenner series is definitively a worthwhile endeavor.