The theme of 'Other' was appropriate at many levels too. To turn up at Ikon in the first place is to put yourself in a box labelled Other. Yet by turning up attendees are also seeking collective and communion with other (perhaps) like-minded souls.
Everyone is both Other and not-Other. At times, Northern Ireland feels like it celebrates and tortures Others on a grander scale than some of its surrounding nations. Perhaps I'm wrong.
As well as Colin Williams' talk about Fear at TEDxBelfast, this evening's events reminded be that I'd written something on the blog a few years ago about fear of the other ... back in the day when I posted several times a week and sometimes even pushed the boat out to express my personal opinion, rather than summarising other people's.
Turns out it was a loose series of three posts on Scared of the other.
- Afraid of Irish? Scared of the other?
- Scared of the Other (part 2) - Milk showing in the QFT this weekend
- Scared of the Other (part 3) // Muslims
Though it's a topic that has turned up in other posts and will turn up again.
The challenge is how to live well as an Other, and how to purposefully relate to those I instinctively want to badge as Other.
Update - I'm being followed by 'Other' this week. In a prayer at Monday afternoon's wedding, the following phrase crept in:
Enrich their friendship that they might be fully other.
Further update - Gladys Ganiel and Michael McRay have blogged their thoughtful impressions of the evening.