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Alana DALY Mulligan ireland, 19

Project: The Lit Young Writer's Festival

Basic Human Needs: Education

Working on theatre productions from a young age, Alana believed early on in the power of art to create impact. As a teen, she began using her own art to spark young people’s interest in political and social issues. However, Alana’s home city of Waterford didn’t promote arts education, and lacked opportunities for youth to pursue an interest in the arts. In 2016, Alana helped assemble a group of students to spearhead the first “Lit Festival” – Europe’s first ever writing festival by young people for young people. The event received national media attention, and attracted some of Ireland’s most renowned poets as speakers. Continuing to use art for social change, Alana wrote and produced “Hands” – a spoken word film describing a first-hand homophobic incident. The film was a huge success, screened at film festivals, youth groups and universities, and garnered 17,000 views in its first three days online. Alana has performed her poetry across Ireland, encouraging young people to engage in the arts and tackle social issues. She hopes to bring the Lit Festival and similar projects overseas to connect the young art community worldwide, and to cultivate young artists’ skills they can use to build careers. Alana’s overarching goal is to establish spaces where young people can freely express themselves at the intersection of art and activism, including a future social media platform.