Assemble - A Film Trilogy by Anthony Haughey and The Global Migration Collective

Fingal County Council is delighted to present

Assemble - A Film Trilogy by Anthony Haughey and The Global Migration Collective

Commissioned as part of Infrastructure Public Art Programme 2017-2021


This trilogy of short films reflects on the impact of global migration from the point of view of young people in County Fingal with a particular focus on Balbriggan. This public art commission explores ideas of how cultural identities are formed and represented in the public realm.

In this socially engaged production young people collaborated and negotiated every aspect of filmmaking from scriptwriting to film treatment and choice of location. At the end of this process, the same young people assumed the role of non-professional actors as they claim ownership of the narrative. Each short film follows a durational socially engaged method taking four months or more for each film to be completed.

The films explore the concerns expressed by young multi-ethnic youth growing up in a time of rapid change in Ireland and internationally. The research for each film refers to historical antecedents from Civil Rights in the ‘60s to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. Throughout this discursive process and numerous dialogical encounters, discoveries are made and incorporated into each script. For example, in the short film Can You Hear Us Now? A group of school students speak up for equality. In this sequence, the language and narratives of the African slave, Frederick Douglas who traveled to Ireland in 1845 and performed many public speeches on emancipation and freedom were sensitively appropriated and reworked.

The resulting displaced conversation between three young women from Lusk Community College evokes Brecht’s alienation effect to ‘make the familiar strange’ and provoke a social-critical audience response.

The second film, This What We Call Progress is set in the drawing-room of 18th Century Newbridge House, a Georgian Villa built to the design of James Gibbs in 1747 for the Archbishop of Dublin, Charles Cobbe. His great grand-daughter Frances Power Cobbe was born in Newbridge House in 1822, she was a writer, social reformer, anti-vivisection activist, and a leading women’s suffrage campaigner. In this film a group of young women who call themselves My Sisters Keeper reclaim their place in history surrounded by oil paintings of colonial masters.

In the final short, Waiting For Tomorrow a group of young men engage in a conversation about what is at stake for their generation as they reflect on the historical speeches and claims for civil rights and equality espoused by Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and many others. The film is also a homage to Samuel Beckett’s seminal play Waiting for Godot. ‘Waiting’ in this case is akin to a ‘permanent state of crisis’ were waiting for change to come is testing the patience of many generations of young people, especially in light of recent events and the Black Lives Matter global protests.

The films are ready to view. More than fifty people contributed to this experimental trilogy. A series of film posters advertising the films will celebrate the local participants at prominent billboard sites in Balbriggan. The films can be viewed on

Film Poster Schedule
16th – 29th November: Drogheda Street, Balbriggan 30th Nov – 11th December: Main Street, Balbriggan 12th – 25th December: Main Street Balbriggan

Fingal County Council’s Infrastructure Programme 2017- 2021 is a countywide Public Art programme funded through the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government’s Per Cent for Art Scheme. Anthony Haughey and the Global Migration Collection were awarded under the Co-Production Strand.


For Further Information Contact

Caroline Cowley – Public Art Co-ordinator

Ph: 01 870 8449