Save The Exchange! Arts for all!

Dear Dubliners and Dublin lovers,

Today I’m going to post something different than usual, because the time is very special and I would really appreciate any attention to this cause.

Do you remember The Exchange Dublin? I posted some a photo from it a little over a year ago.

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There is something you should all know about cultural life in Dublin: it’s not cheap and it almost always involves drinking booze. I’m sorry, but it’s true: if you prefer avoiding alcohol consumption spots or cannot afford admission to an event, you don’t have much choice of activities. The Exchange is the place to answer this kind of demands: place, where everyone is welcome and can realize their artistic potential without feeling uncomfortable or forced to do something they do not like. I have been there number of times myself, for some musical gig, photo exhibition and dance workshops (the collective also runs free film screenings, craft fairs and art workshops). All these events were free, organized by passionate people willing to teach others what they love doing.

It has been going on for couple of years now and safe to say, many young Dubliners, both immigrants and Irish, grew quite attached to the place.

Suddenly, somebody decided it was no longer desirable to run the initiative and with the end of January Dublin City Council wants to close the place down. As an official reason they’ve given ‘anti-social behaviour’, which is hurtful and untrue, because 1) the Exchange is an alcohol-free zone and people who don’t play by the rules are not welcome there 2) all events there end early (10-11 PM, even on weekends), so there is no disturbance to the neighbours. Most of all, The Exchange is situated in Temple Bar, which is an official entertainment centre of Dublin (which in practice means loads of drunk people every evening), so comparing to other venues in the area it’s as peaceful as a church. Oh, right, but other venues pay some good money to run their business in the location, whereas the Exchange is community, donation-driven project. Coincidence? I don’t think so…

So, I hereby appeal to you and your artsy hearts: please, help us save The Exchange! Help the city council officials see that the community needs places like this.

You can show your support by signing the petition:

http://www.change.org/petitions/exchange-has-been-asked-to-close-help-us-to-stop-it

Here are some videos taken by my friend Christiano del Mar during various dancing workshops. I’ve been to them and had the best fun ever.

Please help us save The Exchange! And come visit them soon 🙂

 

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