Smiling, Sweating and Resisting

27 Oct 18—21 Dec 18
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Mitch Conlon, Sonia Boyce, Susan Connolly

Launch night: Friday 26 October 2018, 7–10pm

Smiling, Sweating and Resisting is a group exhibition of works that circulate around the idea of the carnival and its promiscuous, politically-charged performances. The exhibition departs from the Halloween celebrations in Derry, where suppressed divisions and counternarratives to the conflict of the last 50 years can be seen to emerge in distorted forms, carnivalesque inversions and the overlay of dissonant symbolic systems.

Works in the exhibition use carnival and the carnivalesque to think through the conditions of plantation life and sugar production in the Caribbean and their dependence on the transatlantic slave trade (Sonia Boyce); the nascent bashment, hip hop and dancehall scenes in Belfast in the early 2000s (Mitch Conlon); and the intersection of vernacular culture, gender and socio-economic issues in northern Brazil, as embodied in ‘Frevo’ dance traditions (Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca).

Inspired by these works and the visual vocabulary of the carnival, Susan Connolly’s exhibition design uses ‘process’ colours at an outsize scale to consider the slippage between the precision of printing and the imperfections inherent in the handmade.


Friday 26 October 2018, 8–10pm
Performance: Mitch Conlon, sometimes you never know what’s in someone’s heart

Sunday 28–Tuesday 30 October 2018, 6–8:30pm
Late Opening

To coincide with Derry Halloween’s Waking the Walls, CCA is having special late opening hours to welcome visitors touring the Derry Walls.

Saturday 17 November 2018, 12pm
OFFSITE: booksvscigarettes at Outburst

Outburst and CCA are delighted to partner up again for another installment of the welcoming and accessible reading group, booksvscigarettes. This time, we are reading Andrea Long Chu’s sharp and moving essay on trans lesbian experience, On Liking Women. Please see for details and booking.

Thursday 22 November 2018, 4–7pm
Visual Artists Helpdesk / Project Clinic

Artists can book in for a 30 minute one-to-one appointment to discuss any aspects of their professional careers with Catherine Hemelryk (Director, CCA Derry~Londonderry) and Rob Hilken (Northern Ireland Manager, Visual Artists Ireland). Topics we cover can include: Funding applications / Proposals / Artist statements, bios and CVs / Signposting to

relevant arts organisations and contacts / Strategic planning / Tax and finance / Website and social media / Networking

Book a free place at

Saturday 24 November 2018
OFFSITE: booksvscigarettes at University of Atypical

Atypical Gallery and CCA Derry-Londonderry are delighted to present their first joint instalment of CCA’s welcoming and accessible reading group, booksvscigarettes as part of Jane McCormick’s upcoming exhibition, Not Half Right.

We will be reading Ellen Samuel’s Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time, a creative nonfiction essay in which the author reflects on how ‘crip time’ has operated in their life, not only as a form of liberation, but also as a site of loss and alienation.

This event is free and open to everyone and there’s no preparation required. Please email to let us know you’re coming so we can have enough texts printed for everyone.

booksvscigarettes is CCA’s intermittent reading group. It takes its name from George Orwell’s essay which assessed the price and value of reading against other pursuits.

Tuesday 27 November 2018, 12–6pm
Relaxed Performance Day

On this day the exhibition is adapted to cater for visitors with learning and sensory difficulties. The volume of the works will be lowered and darkened spaces will be lighter. The Library & Workshop will be a dedicated Quiet Space throughout this day.

1 December 2018

booksvscigarettes returns to CCA for a reading related to our current exhibition, Smiling, Sweating and Resisting. Check back on our website for details.

5 December 2018, 12–5:30pm
Peer Critique

CCA are teaming up with Visual Artists Ireland to host a day of Peer Critique for artists. This day will be facilitated by an invited guest and is for artists to share their work in progress and to reflect upon their practice.

Book a free place at

Schools and Community Workshops

This exhibition sees the continuation of our schools programme, working with a number of local primary schools. If you would like to discuss the possibility of your group or school coming to CCA for a workshop contact our Head of Public Programmes, Sara Greavu at

This exhibition and associated events are made possible through the generous support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and with the further support of Derry City and Strabane District Council.