The annual Liam Swords Foundation Bursary took place at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris on 20th Nov. 2017. The guest speaker was Billy Shortall the 2017 bursary winner. 

His talk was entitled "I know its value for propaganda” – an important Irish art exhibition in Paris, 1922.

In January 1922, as the Irish State was transitioning to independence, its government, as part of a programme to have the State’s sovereignty recognised internationally, participated in a World Congress for the Irish Race in Paris. The Congress was a political gathering attended by an Irish delegation that included three future Irish presidents and diaspora organisations from thirty countries. It was occasioned by a major, month-long Irish art exhibition of three hundred art works. This was the first time the emerging new State used art to position itself internationally. The lecture by Billy Shortall (History of Art and Architecture, TCD) seeks to recover the narrative of this important exhibition and the cultural aspects of the Congress.

The lecture will take place again at the RIA in Dublin on 7th Feb. 2018.

In the words of the Rev. Liam Swords

'the aim is to establish a grant for a student of talent from the Irish Higher education sector to pursue his/her studies/research/training for an academic year in Paris and to immerse themselves in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Candidates will be chosen from the widest possible groups, e.g., musicians, artists, sculptors, writers, scientists, engineers, scholars, craft-workers, theologians, architects, students of haute cuisine or haute couture, cinematographers etc.'
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