Mother Tongues Festival 2023 Programme is LIVE!

Plan Your Multilingual Creative Adventure

Mother Tongues Festival is around the corner (16-18 February 2023 in Tallaght), and now, we can FINALLY share the entire programme with everyone!

mother tongues festival

In this post, you will find out:

What is Mother Tongues Festival?

A Festival without borders! It’s the largest of its kind celebrating linguistic diversity through the arts in Ireland. Its mission is to showcase the country’s rich artistic and cultural tapestry and connect people through the power of language and art.We encourage everyone to colour outside of the lines, learn something new and have fun while celebrating their mother tongue and the rich kaleidoscope of languages spoken in Ireland.

Year after year, our Festival demonstrates that multilingualism is a reason to come together and celebrate. 2023 is no exception!

A detailed festival breakdown

Festival Day 1

Day one includes a round table conversation on the themes of creativity, multilingualism and community building. Moderating the discussion is Assistant Dean International at the University of Limerick, Dr Anca Minescu, an expert in the field of ethnic relations, cultural diversity and group identities. Dr Minescu will be joined by artists and other academics to discuss why artistic communities, policymakers and government bodies need to embrace multilingualism through creative means, and the action steps that need to be taken to accomplish this.

The discussion will be followed by a participatory workshop exploring the topic of multilingualism and the arts at a grassroots level.
This event also marks Mother Tongues 2023 Spotlight publication, featuring national and international artistic and creative projects that embrace multilingualism.

Festival Day 2

Day two features full-day workshops from artists Caroline Bergvall and Raffaele Muraca.

Artist-in-residence Raffaele Muraca will be working on an art installation, Growing Thoughts & Hanging Wishes, based on the ancient Irish custom of the Raggedy Tree or “Wish Tree”, where people would hang cloth, ribbons and notes on Hawthorn trees (that were believed to be magical or holy) containing their thoughts, wishes and hopes. As the thought and paper disintegrate, the wishes are said to come true!

This year, we commissioned a new creative development opportunity for artists and writers interested in exploring multilingual processes in their artistic work. “Words Work” will culminate in a day-long workshop at Rua Red.

Caroline Bergvall. Photo credit: Christa Holka

Festival Day 3

Finally, our much-anticipated family day will close the Festival with creative multilingual workshops and a lively concert.

Family day workshop highlights


Language Explorers, You are the Artist! workshop series continues to create festival buzz as we inch closer and closer to Mother Tongues Festival 2023. There is so much excitement that almost ALL workshops in this series are sold out.
If the date you want to attend is sold out, tap on “Join Waitlist”; cancellations happen, so put your name down just in case.

With this being said, please make sure you look at the full programme to pick and choose the workshops you want to attend with your little ones.

A few (of the many) creative workshops we have this year include:

Kamishibai: Fairytales in Ireland and Japan, a workshop conducted in English and Japanese, Tamao Oka will lead a magical experience sharing Ireland and Japan’s different, yet similar, cultures through the classical art of fairytale storytelling.

La Machine à poèmes, a workshop conducted in French where participants will find serious inspiration and serious ideas in a seriously silly poetry workshop with French children’s writer Juliette Saumande.

Tum Tum! Warsztat Muzyczny, a workshop conducted in Polish to unleash children’s creativity by discovering music through creative movement, singing, sound exploration and body percussion with Kasia Eliasz! This is a Language Explorers workshop.

Spotlight on Hand Shadows: a hands-on workshop (get it!), with theatre-maker Alison Ní Mháirtín, who will guide children and their adults through the magical art of creating bedtime stories from hand shadows. As well as learning how to make classics such as birds and other animals, participants will be invited to create characters of their own. The workshop is in Irish and English; however, a knowledge of Gaeilge is not required for attendance. 

The concert headliner for Mother Tongues Festival

Move & Groove with Jiggy

Groove with Jiggy at Mother Tongues Festival! Jiggy continues the tradition of their musical ancestors while bringing a whole new exotic flavour to the table, more of a collective than an orthodox band, Jiggy’s mercurial lineup mixes and melds Irish traditional music, world rhythms and cutting-edge dance grooves.

Ready for #MTFest23?
Plan your multilingual creative adventure!

We want to thank Debora Adachi, the Illustrator of this year’s Festival poster image. Check out her work!

A special thank you
to our friends, sponsors and funders for supporting our mission to promote multilingualism and intercultural dialogue in Ireland.

Spread the word!

Mother Tongues Festival

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