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‘This Isn’t Right!’

2 min read

‘This Isn’t Right!’

2 min read


‘This Isn’t Right!’

The importance of engaging young people in discussions about social issues has never been more prevalent. In our turbulent and everchanging world, they bring perspectives and thought processes that differ from the status quo and that can drive meaningful change in our communities. Creativity plays a vital role in involving young people in crucial discussions and in amplifying their voices.

It enables alternative ways of thinking, invokes empathy, and ultimately connects them with their own stories, making them a valid reference point as they make decisions for and in the future. In Winter 2023/Spring 2024, Creative Monaghan brought young people aged 12 to17 together, to explore social issues through a variety of creative mediums. A culturally diverse group, representing nine nationalities, undoubtedly resulted in eclectic and insightful creative responses.  Based in Monaghan County Council’s Market House, the project spanned four weekends, consisting of a series of creative workshops developed and facilitated by Creative Artist, Writer, and Theatre Maker Eve Li.

Workshop one invited young people to explore Irish emigration stories through storytelling, drama, and art. Inspired by Eve Li’s ‘Bridge of Tears -The Stories of Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Immigrants’ and Yoko Ono’s ‘Add Colour – Refugee Boat’ the group created an art and sound installation. With the sound of waves lapping in the background, the young people selected quotes and monologues from ‘The Bridge of Tears’ that they felt moved by and added them to a giant mural, featuring a paper mâché boat. They exchanged their own immigration stories and experiences and added them to the installation.

In the second workshop, the group delved into the world of myths and legends. Chinese New Year set the context for a creative response resulting in the creation of two floor murals depicting the Chinese blossom tree and a Chinese dragon. Having discovered the striking omission of felines in the Chinese Zodiac, the young people wrote and performed a script called ‘Why the Cat is not in the Chinese Zodiac’! Through story exchange, the group shared folklore stories from their own cultural backgrounds. Workshops one and two were co-facilitated by abstract artist Andrea Soto. Originally from Guatemala, Andrea brought a unique perspective to the workshops, as she supported the group in their creative responses.

Co-facilitated by Monaghan based singer/songwriter Séan O’Roideáin, the third workshop explored social issues through the medium of music and songwriting. The group wrote songs inspired by issues they were passionate about. One song reflected on the hardship of parents travelling from Syria to Ireland as refugees, another highlighted discrimination and racism experienced in school. One group member commented ‘I have never written a song before; I wrote some words and Séan put them music and helped me make a song!’

Eve Li

"‘It was great to see how proud the young people were of their creative outputs at the end of each workshop! Young people from different cultural backgrounds came together to exchange stories and experiences, build friendships whilst producing wonderful creative responses!’"


"‘It was amazing to try some many different activities. I really enjoyed the film making, it was cool to act out the scripts we wrote and then make them into a movie. I loved finding funny sound effects! I would love to do that as a job’"

In the final workshop, the young people took inspiration from the characters in the stories shared during the myths and legends workshops, to make short films addressing social issues. Co-facilitated by Re-Act productions, the group learned how to write a script, storyboard, film and edit.

To see the finished video, click here

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