Dead end to the Journey of Light

I HAVE seen the opening and some of the closing ceremonies of Cork’s Capital of Culture celebrations for 2005.

Some things became abundantly clear on Sunday evening, December 11, during the Journey of Light as it was questionably called.

The lack of any interesting uses of light (with the exception of the candles on the laneway) made it less a journey of light and more a bizarre village fete.

It reminded me of the fair that comes to Craggy Island in the first episode of Father Ted. This was due mainly to the embarrassing and tatty 'screen' thrown up on a lift, and to the almost invisible images that were displayed on it.

I had to explain to several people that the picture was supposed to be a child's face projected onto the image of a dove. Even now I'm not sure if this was in fact the case, and if it was, what it was supposed to mean.

When I saw the 'shrine' that was erected towards the end of the parade route my immediate reaction was one of fear. It was reminiscent of a primary school May Day altar, except that there was something grotesque about it it was strewn with leaves, shells, sand and stones.

It was poorly constructed, poorly conceived and in every way deficient for an international festival display. It was not, as was suggested, a shrine to the people of Cork in the past. It was just confusing and misguided.

There was plenty of talent involved in this Festival of Light the belly dancers, the child actors of CADA, the samba drummers, the fight dancers, the contemporary dancers, the clowns and the choirs, to name but a few.

However, the entire event smacked of amateurism and a lack of creativity so astounding as to make me wish I had not gotten involved. It is my belief that Spraoi should have been invited back to finish what they started.

The opening ceremony was a beautiful event, designed with style, executed with grace and constructed with professionalism. As a concept the entire closing ceremony was lacking in ingenuity and creativity.

It was explained to me (because it was not clear from the event) that the journey was based on the seven stages of life, the seven sacraments and the seven chakra. Now if that's what they chose to do, shouldn't that have been in some way apparent in the sections of the journey? Perhaps it was explained in the leaflets, but that was just not good enough.

The only other redeeming element was the photographs displayed on the walk towards the bridge. Of course this was ruined by the ludicrous music played in the final section (I've known Spanish slot machines that wouldn't play that rubbish) and the bubble machines the purpose being what? To liven us up after having looked at potentially poignant pictures of the past?

The performers and the crew in this festival were not to blame they are to be commended for putting up with the concept from hell.

Katie Holly

Margaret Street

Georges Quay

Cork

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