EVENT REVIEW: Sebastian Barry, Lucy Popescu and Tim Finch: A country of Refuge

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Sunday 9th October
Palace Green Library
Review by Gabriel Brown
While most of the events I have attended so far have been full of good humour, I do admit it was difficult to get into this talk.

The subject matter is, of course, a serious one, and therefore should be treated so. A Country Of Refuge was a powerful event, and by far my favourite part of it was the readings of the authors’ work towards the end. The reading was absolutely amazing, and was one of the few occasions where I could truly feel the power of what was written.

Even Lucy Popesco, a fellow speaker at the event, was surprised by Tim Finch’s contribution. The work he read out was a short story, both humorous and interesting in equal measure. It was about a campaigner, a journalist, a writer, and an analyst, all of whom speak about the same refugee. It was here you could really see the views of different people, and Finch gave fascinating voices to characters like the analyst and the campaigner in particular.

There was also talk about how the anthology shows the importance of the written word in modern society. In my opinion, in a society where views can become so easily polarised by social media, anthologies like this one have never been so important.

The good and the bad was also brought up during the talk, in particular the fact that we are unable to imagine ourselves in refugees positions. We’re always too quick to jump to conclusions, and judge other people’s lives based upon such judgements. As was mentioned at the event, we are all the same family.

The trio were engaging throughout, and managed to get everyone involved in all these difficult discussions. While there were some funny moments, and great readings, the real purpose is to make people more aware of what is going on in terms of our current, and global, refugee crisis.