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The Carnival of Collective Joy 2022

The Carnival of Collective Joy is an engagement project with school children in Co. Carlow.

In 2022, Carlow Arts Festival and VISUAL piloted the first Carlow Carnival of Collective Joy as part of Cruinnú na nÓg.

Working with artist Bridget Ní Dhuinn and partnering with VISUAL, we engaged with 5 primary schools across County Carlow, St Patrick's Rathvilly, St Joesph's Hacketstown, St Fiacc's Graiguecullen, Educate Together and Myshall N.S. over a six-week period.

The carnival was designed and developed by the children, they chose the theme and the character they would create by undertaking a design process and voting for their favourite.

“Carnival is something people create and generate for themselves”
Mikhail Bakhtin

In a series of creative workshops, the children brought their characters to life by making a large-scale puppet that they then paraded through Carlow Town during the festival. The children in each school also created a dance with choreographer Aoibhinn O’Dea that they showcased at the end of the parade.

In total, 290 children from across County Carlow collaborated on the Carnival of Collective Joy! and the parade was enjoyed by over 2500 people as it wound its way around the streets of Carlow.

The project was a resounding success with much positive feedback from the children and schools.

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